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game recap

Sabres 5, Senators 4, OT

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 5, Senators 4, OT
Ottawa Senators 4, Buffalo Sabres 5

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Lindy Ruff came out of his office wearing a bowling shirt, a gift from the Buffalo Sabres in honor of his 300th career coaching victory.

Ruff, however, knew there was a number more special: 100 points. That's how many the Sabres have produced after Daniel Briere scored the tying and winning goals in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

"I'll take 100 points, but the guys got me a gift and my parents said, 'When you get a gift you should wear it," said Ruff, an avid bowler, referring to his Sabres-colored black and red shirt with '300 Club' stitched on his chest.

The 100 points and 47 victories are the most the Sabres have managed since the 1983-84 season when they had 48 wins and 103 points. Ruff became the 31st NHL coach to win 300 games and the 16th to do so with the same team.

Just as special is the victory came against the Eastern Conference-leading Senators, a team that's given the Sabres fits all season. Buffalo improved to 2-5 against the Senators - the other victory coming in a shootout - and were outscored 33-15 in those games.

"I don't want to get too excited but we're very happy with the win," Briere said. "The thing we're going to build off is that we came back from behind and never quit."

Briere capped a win in which the Sabres rallied from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits.

He forced overtime by scoring with 39 seconds left in regulation, converting Brian Campbell's pass through the crease.

Briere then clinched the victory with 47 seconds left in overtime, with a power-play goal after Brian Pothier hooked Maxim Afinogenov to prevent a clearcut breakaway. Alone at the right post, Afinogenov set up the decisive goal when he fed a pass through the crease to a wide-open Briere, who jammed it in the open side.

Afinogenov had a goal and three assists while Derek Roy and Rory Fitzpatrick also scored.

Daniel Alfredsson, Patrick Eaves, Christoph Schubert and Chris Kelly scored for the injury-riddled Senators, who were minus four regular defenseman, including Wade Redden, who missed his fourth straight game, excused for personal reasons.

"I thought our guys played well on the blue line ... people who don't play very much stepped up," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "It's just unfortunate that (the tying goal) happened at the end of regulation the way it did."

The Senators' thin defensive corps was particularly apparent in short-handed situations. Ottawa allowed three power-play goals on seven chances.

"It takes its toll," Alfredsson said. "But they're a good team. Give them credit, they didn't quit."

The Senators lost for the first time in 54 games when scoring four or more goals, ending the third-longest streak in NHL history. The streak dates to a 5-4 overtime loss to Toronto on Feb. 5, 2003.

The Sabres, coming off a playoff-clinching 3-2 shootout win at Toronto on Monday, were careful to note the Senators' depleted lineup.

"That's not the Ottawa Senators there, they're missing a lot of guys on the blue line," said Campbell, who had two assists. "So you take it and you move on."

Buffalo has suddenly begun to rebound, improving to 3-2 since ending a 0-5-1 skid.

"Hopefully this is a big confidence-builder and keeps us going in the right direction," Briere said.

Sabres goaltender Martin Biron stopped 30 shots in making his second straight start in place of Ryan Miller.

Notes: Senators C Mike Fisher had an assist, returning to the lineup after missing nine games with a sprained right ankle. Ottawa demoted LW Denis Hamel to AHL Binghamton. ... The Sabres are 39-11-6 when scoring a power-play goal this season. ... Biron assisted on Afinogenov's goal. It was Biron's his first of the season, fifth of his career and second against the Senators.

scoring summary
1st Period
14:11
BUF
PPG - Maxim Afinogenov (21) ASST: Brian Campbell (29), Martin Biron (1)
1 - 0 BUF
19:29
OTT
Daniel Alfredsson (40) ASST: Mike Fisher (20), Jason Spezza (63)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
05:18
OTT
SHG - Christoph Schubert (4) ASST: NONE
2 - 1 OTT
06:08
OTT
PPG - Patrick Eaves (18) ASST: Jason Spezza (64), Brian Pothier (27)
3 - 1 OTT
06:29
BUF
Derek Roy (18) ASST: Michael Grier (13), Chris Drury (34)
3 - 2 OTT
11:03
BUF
PPG - Rory Fitzpatrick (4) ASST: Daniel Briere (29), Maxim Afinogenov (41)
3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
14:48
OTT
Chris Kelly (9) ASST: Vaclav Varada (14), Brian Pothier (28)
4 - 3 OTT
19:20
BUF
Daniel Briere (23) ASST: Brian Campbell (30), Maxim Afinogenov (42)
4 - 4 Tie
OT Period
04:13
BUF
PPG - Daniel Briere (24) ASST: Maxim Afinogenov (43), Ales Kotalik (35)
5 - 4 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
02:26
OTT
Christoph Schubert  Roughing against  Thomas Vanek
13:00
OTT
Dany Heatley  Hooking against  Derek Roy
14:11
OTT
Daniel Alfredsson  Hooking
16:38
BUF
Andrew Peters  Fighting against  Brian McGrattan
16:38
OTT
Brian McGrattan  Fighting against  Andrew Peters
2nd Period
03:46
OTT
Brian Pothier  Hooking against  Tim Connolly
05:49
BUF
Thomas Vanek  Hooking against  Antoine Vermette
10:22
OTT
Dany Heatley  Elbowing against  Chris Drury
14:00
OTT
Christoph Schubert  Tripping against  Daniel Briere
16:02
BUF
Toni Lydman  Interference against  Jason Spezza
16:02
OTT
Jason Spezza  Diving against  Toni Lydman
16:53
BUF
Jay McKee  Hooking against  Daniel Alfredsson
3rd Period
11:39
BUF
Chris Drury  Hi-sticking against  Tyler Arnason
OT Period
03:55
OTT
Brian Pothier  Hooking against  Maxim Afinogenov
goalie stats
Ray Emery
SA: 39TOI: 64:03
Saves: 34EV: 26 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 11
SV%: .872SH: 0 - 0
Martin Biron
Martin Biron
SA: 34TOI: 63:37
Saves: 30EV: 17 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 9
SV%: .882SH: 5 - 6