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game recap

Eichel streak ends, Sabres lose to Senators

Had point in his previous 18 games; Pageau scores twice, Anderson makes 43 saves for Ottawa

by Callum Fraser / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Pageau's second goal of game

BUF@OTT: Pageau nets backhander for second goal

Jean-Gabriel Pageau gets good position in front of the net and backhands the rebound past Linus Ullmark for his second goal and a 2-1 lead

  • 00:29 •

OTTAWA -- Jack Eichel's personal point streak ended at 18 games, and the Buffalo Sabres lost to the Ottawa Senators 3-1 at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday.

Eichel, who had 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) during the streak, tied the longest run Sabres history; Gilbert Perreault had an 18-game point streak from Oct. 24-Dec. 4, 1971. Eichel's run is not officially recognized by the NHL as a point streak because he missed a 6-1 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday with a lower-body injury.

"Last time we played them, [Eichel] had four goals," Senators forward Brady Tkachuk said of the Sabres' 4-2 home win on Nov. 16, when Eichel started his streak. "So, something we really focused on was not letting him get those chances. We can't let that happen on home ice."

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Senators highlights]

 

Tkachuk had a goal and two assists, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice for the Senators (16-18-4), who are 5-2-3 in their past 10 games heading into the Christmas break.

"Our goal in the last 10 games has been to get back in the pack, because you never know what's going to happen in the second half [of the season]," Tkachuk said. "It was a big game against a divisional team, so we're going to take that and use that when we get back from Christmas break."

Video: BUF@OTT: Pageau buries Tkachuk's feed from the circle

Craig Anderson made 43 saves for Ottawa in his first start since sustaining a lower-body injury against Philadelphia on Dec. 7.

"I had several practices here in row where I was able to get back into the swing of things and get the rhythm back," Anderson said. "I think the best thing is just to go out there and play and not think. That was tonight. Just go out there and find the puck."

Zemgus Girgensons scored, and Linus Ullmark made 27 saves for the Sabres (17-14-7), who are 1-3-1 in their past five.

"Twenty-five scoring chances and 44 shots speak for themselves," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "I think Anderson had a world-class game today. We had good control early in the game, but we weren't creating the net pressure that we should've out of the puck control we had. They were opportunistic on their chances."

Video: BUF@OTT: Anderson reaches out for great blocker stop

Pageau one-timed a pass from Tkachuk at the right face-off dot to give the Senators a 1-0 lead with 54 seconds remaining in the first period.

Girgensons redirected a backhand pass from Evan Rodrigues into the top left corner to tie it 1-1 at 15:12 of the second.

"We had ups and downs in this game," Rodrigues said. "Maybe we'd like to see more consistent pressure, but we definitely had our chances. They scored more than we did."

Pageau found a loose puck at the edge of the crease and finished with a backhand to make it 2-1 at 5:16 of the third.

Tkachuk scored into an empty net at 18:35 for the 3-1 final.

Video: BUF@OTT: Girgensons tips Rodrigues' pass home

 

They said it

"For us, the important thing at this point in time is to be a part of the [Stanley Cup Playoff] race. We're definitely there, because we believe we're only going to get better. We believe we're going to improve and we're going to get stronger as this season builds, so to be in the mix, as we are now, is what we need to take with us." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger on Buffalo's mindset entering the Christmas break

"I was a little worried coming into the game, but then I saw him change sticks in warmups there a couple times, so I knew he wasn't feeling it. I just, in my head, knew to be ready. He can shoot, be ready for anything. Luckily we did a good job taking away his time and space, and frustrated him a little bit." -- Senators goalie Craig Anderson on Sabres center Jack Eichel, who had four shots in 22:33 of ice time

"Certainly, the start [to the season] wasn't what we wanted, but I think we've found our identity a little bit. When we work hard, we stay in games. And we've had some timely goals as of late, we've played well at home, but we've got to continue this after the break." -- Senators coach D.J. Smith

 

Need to know

Rodrigues had a game-high six shots. … The Senators are 9-1-1 in their past 11 home games.

 

What's next

Sabres: Host the Boston Bruins on Friday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN1, SNE, SNP, MSG-B, NESN, NHL.TV)

Senators: Host the New Jersey Devils on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, MSG, NHL.TV)

Video: Pageau scores twice to lead Senators past Sabres, 3-1

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