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GAME: Buffalo Sabres at Ottawa Senators.
PLAYOFF SERIES: Eastern Conference semifinals; Sabres lead 1-0.
TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EDT.
The Ottawa Senators look to regroup following a shocking loss to the Buffalo Sabres, who will try to continue their postseason roll when the teams meet at Scotiabank Place for Game 2 of their semifinal series.
The Sabres stunned the high-scoring and top-seeded Senators in Game 1 on Friday, winning 7-6 in overtime. Ottawa blew five one-goal leads, the final time with 10.7 seconds left on Tim Connolly's tying goal, and lost when Buffalo's Chris Drury scored 18 seconds into the extra period.
"We weren't going to give up," said Connolly, who scored twice. "We came back a few times during the hockey game and we've been able to come back all year long and we're never going to give up until the game's over, and I think that's a credit to this hockey team."
The victory was the Sabres' third in a row, following 3-0 and 7-1 victories over Philadelphia in Games 5 and 6 in the first round, and provided another example of how well Buffalo is playing offensively. The Sabres have scored seven goals or more three times in these playoffs.
Ottawa coach Bryan Murray, though, made it clear that his team wasn't going to allow that many for a second straight time.
"We won't play that sloppy again," Murray said. "We scored 12 goals, that's basically the way I approached it. We just gave pucks away all night. I thought it was a sloppy game after the game last night, well I know it was a really sloppy, careless game now."
Murray might want to focus some of the Senators' defensive efforts in Game 2 on Sabres forward Derek Roy, who had two goals and three assists to tie a Buffalo playoff record with five points.
Ottawa's Ray Emery gave up all seven goals on 23 shots Friday, but Murray said he will start Monday.
"I know he took the blame in the room after the game, which is unfair," Murray said. "Thirty-five seconds into the game they get an open-net goal, 2-on-1. Without making a stop at that point or getting a chance to feel the puck, he's down 1-0 already. We have to be somewhat respectful of what he's done so far and how he plays and give him a chance."
The Senators finished three points ahead of Buffalo to win the Northeast Division and led the league with 314 goals, but the Sabres won Game 1 of both of its previous playoff meetings with Ottawa, going on to take the series each time.
Ottawa also dominated the season series, going 5-1-2, but youthful Buffalo is rolling and confident after three straight impressive victories.
"We said at the start of the playoffs that we've got some young guys that have to get a taste of what the playoffs are all about," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "I think in Derek's case, he was in awe for a few games. But I thought his final game versus Philly gave him a lot of confidence. And then the game he put together last night was a fabulous game."
Game 3 is Wednesday night at Buffalo.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Sabres - 4th seed; beat Philadelphia Flyers 4-2, East quarterfinals. Senators - 1st seed; beat Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1, East quarterfinals.
PLAYOFF TEAM LEADERS: Sabres - Connolly, 5 goals and 9 points; Daniel Briere, 7 assists; Toni Lydman and Jay McKee, 12 PIM. Senators - Havlat, 7 goals; Heatley, 9 assists; Havlat and Heatley, 12 points; Zdeno Chara, 17 PIM.
PLAYOFF SPECIAL TEAMS: Sabres - Power play: 17.4 percent (8 for 46). Penalty killing: 85.7 percent (30 for 35). Senators - Power play: 33.3 percent (10 for 33). Penalty killing: 86.1 percent (31 for 36).
GOALTENDERS: Sabres - Ryan Miller (5-2, 1 SO, 2.56 GAA); Martin Biron (no appearances). Senators - Emery (4-2, 3.35); Mike Morrison (no appearances).
|May 13 '06||BUF 3 at OTT 2 - OT||J. Pominville|
|May 11 '06||OTT 2 at BUF 1||W. Redden|
|May 10 '06||OTT 2 at BUF 3 - OT||J. Dumont|
|May 08 '06||BUF 2 at OTT 1||J. Hecht|
|May 05 '06||BUF 7 at OTT 6 - OT||C. Drury|