Reuters - Sat, 27 Mar 08:28:00 2010
The Ottawa Senators kept Buffalo from clinching a play-off berth by recording their ninth consecutive win over the Sabres, a 4-2 triumph in Buffalo.
Netminder Brian Elliott (pictured)had 41 saves as Ottawa won their third in a row to snap Buffalo's four-game winning streak.
"We're getting the save when we need it," Senators coach Cory Clouston said after Elliott improved to 8-0-0 against the Sabres.
"Sometimes you get the bounces," said Elliott. "Right at the end, they took a shot and instead of me stopping it, it deflected off their stick and went wide."
Buffalo's Tomas Vanek also missed a chance to tie the score midway through the third when his slapshot hit the post.
Ottawa had lost five in a row before their current streak, which includes Elliott's shutouts of Montreal and Philadelphia.
"We're getting the timely goals," Clouston said. "We're doing a lot of little things well and I think our focus is probably a little bit better, too."
Five of the Ottawa wins over Buffalo have come this season.
Chris Kelly, Peter Regin, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson each had goals for Ottawa, who trail Buffalo by five points in the Northeast Division.
The Senators scored the game's first two goals on shots by Kelly in the first and Regin in the second before the Sabres pulled one back when an intended Buffalo pass deflected off Tim Kennedy's skate into the net midway the second.
Spezza re-established the Senators' two goal lead on a power play with six minutes to go in the second.
Jason Pominville's 22nd goal of the season brought the Sabres back within one early in the second period but Ottawa sealed the win on Alfredsson's empty netter with a second to play.
Ottawa, without leading goal-scorer Milan Michalek through injury, played most of the game without their second highest scorer Mike Fisher, who received a five-minute boarding penalty and was ejected in the first when he shoved Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta into the boards.
"I didn't touch him," Fisher said. "He should be playing soccer. "
NHL results (home team in CAPS):
Ottawa 4 BUFFALO 2
DETROIT 6 Minnesota 2
Anaheim 3 EDMONTON 2