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GAME: Buffalo Sabres (2-0-0) at Ottawa Senators (1-0-0).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT.

Thanks to Daniel Alfredsson, the Ottawa Senators will be remembered as the winners of the first-ever NHL shootout.

Alfredsson and the Senators will look to build on their historic season-opening victory as they host the unbeaten Buffalo Sabres in their home opener at the Corel Centre.

Alfredsson scored twice in the final six minutes of regulation and once in the NHL's new tiebreaker to lead the Senators to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

"It is exciting. It's nice to have a winner," said Alfredsson, a 10-year veteran with Ottawa. "Both teams battled hard for 65 minutes. I think it's right that the losing team still gets a point."

The 5-foot-11 right wing, who had a season-high 80 points for the Senators in 2003-04, tied it with 1:02 left in regulation to force overtime. After a scoreless five-minute period, he scored on Ottawa's first attempt in the new shootout format.

Dany Heatley, acquired in a trade with Atlanta, scored on Ottawa's third chance in the shootout, clinching the victory for the Senators.

"I like the shootout. I think it's fun for everybody," said Heatley, who also had an assist. "We battled hard the last 10 minutes and Alfie came up big."

Veteran goaltender Dominik Hasek, who helped the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup title in 2002, had 23 saves in his debut for Ottawa, which plays three of its next four games at home.

Buffalo improved to 2-0 with a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Friday behind another solid effort from goalie Ryan Miller. Miller made 35 saves to win consecutive games for the first time since January 2003.

"It's a lot of fun right now," said the 25-year-old Miller. "It feels good and it's quite a rush. It's definitely something I want to keep going, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself."

Miller, coming off a stellar season in the AHL, is one of three goalies carried by the Sabres. Martin Biron is on the roster, as is Mika Noronen, who has been scratched the first two games.

"Right now they are still battling and it's a good war," said J.P. Dumont. "Ryan played unbelievable in training camp, and he's playing the same way now."

Dumont and Maxim Afinogenov scored for Buffalo, which plays four of its next five games on the road.

STANDINGS: Sabres - 4 points, 1st place (tied), Northeast Division. Senators - 2 points, 3rd place, 2 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sabres - Afinogenov, 3 goals; five tied with 2 assists; Daniel Briere, 4 points; Afinogenov, Tim Connolly and Jay McKee, 4 PIM. Senators - Alfredsson, 2 goals; Jason Spezza, 2 assists; Alfredsson and Spezza, 2 points; Wade Redden, 6 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 6): Sabres - Power play: 18.1 percent (2 for 11), 9th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.7 percent (6 for 7), 16th (tied). Senators - Power play: 0 percent (0 for 5), 22nd (tied). Penalty killing: 90.9 percent (10 for 11), 10th.

GOALTENDERS: Sabres - Miller (2-0-0, 2.50 GAA); Biron (no record); Noronen (no record). Senators - Hasek (1-0-0, 1.85); Ray Emery (no record).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Sabres, 3-1-2.

LAST MEETING: March 3; Sabres, 4-3. At Buffalo, Miroslav Satan, now with the New York Islanders, scored the go-ahead goal with 7:45 left and set up two others.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sabres - 0-0-0 on the road; Senators - 0-0-0 at home.

Associated Press

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