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game recap

Sabres 4, Senators 2

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:12 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 4, Senators 2
Ottawa Senators 2, Buffalo Sabres 4

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Derek Roy and Drew Stafford had a goal and assist each, and Buffalo scored three times in the first period en route to a 4-2 victory against NHL-leading Ottawa on Wednesday night.

Ales Kotalik and Michael Ryan also scored for the Sabres, who have won two straight after a three-game losing streak.

Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley scored for the Senators, losers of two of three on the current road swing. Ottawa, which has an NHL-high 32 points, lost for just the fourth time overall.

The game marked the teams' first meeting in Buffalo since Alfredsson's overtime goal in Game 5 of last season's Eastern Conference finals sent the Senators to the Stanley Cup final.

Ryan Miller, making his seventh consecutive start, finished with 27 saves - 15 in the second period - for Buffalo. He was helped in the third when Senators centre Chris Kelly hit the post following a deke with 13:30 left while Ottawa was short-handed.

The Sabres raced out of the gate with three goals in the first, and peppered Ottawa goalie Ray Emery with 14 shots. Ryan scored his first just 1:26 in, and Roy capped the flurry with his seventh of the season with only 38 seconds left.

Ottawa responded with a pair of goals in a two-minute span midway through the second period to cut the deficit to 3-2. Alfredsson scored his 16th of the season, capitalizing on a bad giveaway by Buffalo defenceman Henrik Tallinder, and Heatley followed with his 10th while the Senators were on the power play.

Buffalo regained its two-goal lead on Stafford's fourth with 2:36 left in the middle period. On a 2-on-1 break, Thomas Vanek's slick pass went between the legs of Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov and right to Stafford's stick for an easy tap-in.

Emery, making just his second start in eight games and fourth overall, allowed four or more goals for the third time. He finished with 27 saves and lost his second straight.

The Sabres were bolstered by the return of centre Tim Connolly, who came in tied for second on the team with 12 points. Connolly had missed five games because of a strained oblique.

Notes: The Senators will play their next four of five at home, starting Thursday against Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m., Sens TV, Team 1200) ... Buffalo will wrap up a three-game homestand Friday against Montreal ... Senators forward Randy Robitaille didn't play because of a bruised left hand ... Ottawa RW Patrick Eaves was hurt late in the first period and didn't return after he collided awkwardly with Buffalo defenceman Brian Campbell ... Miller earned his fifth career assist on Kotalik's goal in the first period.

scoring summary
1st Period
01:26
BUF
Michael Ryan (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Daniel Paille (5), Paul Gaustad (4)
1 - 0 BUF
09:29
BUF
PPG - Ales Kotalik (4) Snap shot - ASST: Ryan Miller (1)
2 - 0 BUF
19:22
BUF
Derek Roy (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Thomas Vanek (9), Drew Stafford (4)
3 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
09:28
OTT
Daniel Alfredsson (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Jason Spezza (16)
3 - 1 BUF
11:30
OTT
PPG - Dany Heatley (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Corvo (6), Wade Redden (8)
3 - 2 BUF
17:24
BUF
Drew Stafford (4) Tip-in - ASST: Thomas Vanek (10), Derek Roy (8)
4 - 2 BUF
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
07:44
OTT
Jason Spezza  Interference on goalkeeper against  Ryan Miller
2nd Period
01:33
BUF
Ryan Miller  Interference against  Chris Neil
11:24
BUF
Ales Kotalik  Tripping against  Antoine Vermette
18:54
OTT
Dany Heatley  Elbowing against  Jason Pominville
3rd Period
06:02
OTT
Mike Fisher  Hi-sticking against  Derek Roy
14:17
BUF
Jochen Hecht  Slashing against  Joe Corvo
18:16
OTT
Wade Redden  Slashing against  Jason Pominville
goalie stats
Ray Emery
SA: 31TOI: 59:08
Saves: 27EV: 23 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .871SH: 0 - 0
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
SA: 29TOI: 59:50
Saves: 27EV: 22 - 23
PIM: 2PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .931SH: 0 - 0