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game recap

Sabres 4, Senators 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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

BUFFALO - Cody McCormick had a goal and assist, and Ryan Miller finished with 29 saves to help lift the Sabres to a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.

It was the Sabres' second straight win, and second straight game in which they won with aggressive and physical play. Buffalo outhit the Senators by a 24-9 margin two days after registering 24 hits in a 4-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Despite the win, the ninth-place Sabres were unable to gain ground on eighth-place Carolina. The Hurricanes defeated Pittsburgh to remain three points in front of the Sabres.

Mike Grier, Jochen Hecht and Thomas Vanek also scored to help the Sabres improve to 2-3 on their season-high six-game homestand.

Miller helped preserve the win with a terrific pad save on Nick Foligno's attempt from the slot with 39 seconds left in regulation. Vanek then capped the scoring seven seconds later with an empty-net goal, his 23rd of the season.

"He's a great goalie and he showed why," Foligno said of Miller. "If I get it up a little higher, maybe he's just not there and it goes in."

Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza each had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who had their two-game winning streak snapped. Craig Anderson finished with 35 saves in his third game for Ottawa since being acquired from Colorado last week in exchange for Brian Elliott.

It was the first game for the Senators since dealing Alex Kovalev to Pittsburgh on Thursday. Ottawa has also dealt away veteran forwards Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly and Jarkko Ruutu this month.

"The effort was there, but we just don't have the chemistry right now," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said.

Hecht increased Buffalo's lead to 3-1 with his 10th goal of the season 7:35 into the third, but Michalek made it 3-2 with 1:55 left in regulation with his 16th.

With Anderson pulled, the Senators swarmed the Buffalo zone, but were unable to get anything past Miller, who has rebounded nicely after allowing a season-high seven goals in a loss to the New York Islanders on Feb. 13. Miller has surrendered two or fewer goals in each of his last five starts since.

Up by a goal after the first period, Buffalo pushed its lead to 2-0 on McCormick's eighth of the season midway through the second period. Standing in the slot, McCormick took advantage of a fortunate bounce off the end boards that resulted in the puck going right on his stick before he flicked it in.

Spezza cut the deficit in half with his 12th with 5:36 left in the second, lifting the puck in on the backhand after going in alone on Miller from the blue line.

NOTES: Ottawa RW Chris Neil missed the game after sustaining a lower body injury against Florida on Wednesday ... Ottawa RW Marek Svatos played in his first game since the Senators claimed him off waivers from Nashville on Thursday ... Buffalo has defeated Ottawa four times this season, the first time since 2001-02 it has secured that many victories in a season against the Senators ... The Sabres snapped a five-game home losing streak to the Senators, and improved to 2-0 under new owner Terry Pegula ... Ottawa returns home to face the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m., CBC, Team 1200).

scoring summary
1st Period
06:25
BUF
Michael Grier (4) ASST: Cody McCormick (9)
1 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
09:45
BUF
Cody McCormick (8) ASST: Steve Montador (12), Jordan Leopold (22)
2 - 0 BUF
14:24
OTT
Jason Spezza (12) ASST: Erik Condra (2), Milan Michalek (13)
2 - 1 BUF
3rd Period
07:35
BUF
Jochen Hecht (10) ASST: Drew Stafford (12), Tyler Ennis (22)
3 - 1 BUF
18:05
OTT
Milan Michalek (16) ASST: Jason Spezza (19), Matt Carkner (6)
3 - 2 BUF
19:28
BUF
EN - Thomas Vanek (23) ASST: Steve Montador (13), Ryan Miller (1)
4 - 2 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
09:06
BUF
Mike Weber  Boarding against  Bobby Butler
12:43
OTT
Francis Lessard  Cross checking against  Patrick Kaleta
17:18
BUF
Jordan Leopold  Interference against  Milan Michalek
2nd Period
07:08
BUF
Rob Niedermayer  Hooking against  Milan Michalek
11:57
OTT
Milan Michalek  Boarding against  Thomas Vanek
18:26
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Interference on goalkeeper against  Craig Anderson
3rd Period
NONE
goalie stats
Craig Anderson
SA: 38TOI: 59:15
Saves: 35EV: 31 - 34
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .921SH: 2 - 2
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
26-18-5
SA: 31TOI: 59:18
Saves: 29EV: 26 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .935SH: 0 - 0