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game recap

Sabres rally past Senators

Kyle Okposo, Sam Reinhart score in third period; Robin Lehner makes 32 saves

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Robin Lehner made 32 saves, Sam Reinhart scored the winning goal, and the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1 at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday, ending the Senators three-game winning streak.

Lehner, who played for the Senators from 2010-15, is 2-0-1 against his former team.

Kyle Okposo tied the score in the third period for the Sabres (5-4-2), who are 4-1-2 on the road.


WATCH: All Sabres vs. Senators highlights


Mike Hoffman scored for the Senators (7-4-0) and Craig Anderson made 30 saves.

The Sabres said they knew how much Lehner relishes beating his former team.

"Absolutely," coach Dan Bylsma said. "Absolutely I can tell that."

"For sure," said Okposo, who scored his team-leading fifth goal. "I'm sure any time you play your old team you want to show that they made a mistake. You get a little bit of extra motivation. I'm sure that he had some tonight and he played a heck of a game."

Video: BUF@OTT: Okposo nets nice deflection past Anderson

Lehner was traded to the Sabres on June 26, 2015, along with center David Legwand, for the 21st pick in the 2015 NHL Draft (the Senators used the pick to select center Colin White).

Lehner downplayed the revenge factor.

"No matter who we played today, it was a win we needed," Lehner said. "We don't want to lose two in a row. We can learn a few things from this game. The way we came out in the third after our first goal there, and the big PK we had, we can take some positives."

The Sabres killed a double-minor penalty for high sticking to defenseman Dmitry Kulikov at 9:46 of the third period.

Video: BUF@OTT: Hoffman buries Ryan's setup for PPG


Goal of the game

Reinhart scored the winner at 8:22 of the third period with some good stick work along the goal line. The puck fell at his feet at the edge of the crease and he kicked it to his stick, putting a shot from the goal line off Anderson's foot. As the puck crept towards the goal line, Reinhart got his stick in front of the post and nudged it in for his second goal of the season.

Video: BUF@OTT: Reinhart gives Sabres the lead in the 3rd


Save of the game

With the game scoreless with 5:05 to go in the first period, Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau carried the puck over the blue line and showed some patience to let traffic develop in front of Lehner. Pageau carried the puck to Lehner's right and tried to score with a backhand, but Lehner sprawled to extend his right arm and got his stick on the puck.

Video: BUF@OTT: Lehner denies Pageau with amazing stick save


Highlight of the game

With three minutes to go in the second period, Senators forwards Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone broke out on a 2-on-1. Ryan carried the puck along the left wing and fed a pass between the skates of Buffalo defenseman Jake McCabe to Stone at the edge of the crease. Lehner moved strongly to his left and stopped Stone's shot.

Video: BUF@OTT: Lehner lunges to stop Stone's one-timer


Unsung moment of the game

Sabres forward William Carrier, playing in his first NHL game, made a strong play in the neutral zone and got by Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki at the Ottawa blue line to start the play that led to Reinhart's goal.


They said it

"There's been a couple [of big saves] this season. I think I move better laterally this season. I think the Pageau save, it's nice that I got it, but I put myself in that position. I got myself out of the crease and got out of the angle there. I was not as patient as I wanted to be. Fortunate it didn't go in." -- Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner

Video: BUF@OTT: Lehner dazzles in win vs. Senators


"He may have been the best player on the ice tonight. He was our best player on the ice tonight. End of the second period and in the third there, he had four or five excellent saves." -- Sabres coach Dan Bylsma on the play of goaltender Robin Lehner


"I think both goalies played outstanding, and I think both teams played really good as well. It was one of those games we generated a lot, but didn't capitalize on the chances we had." -- Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson


Video: BUF@OTT: Schwartz and young Sens fan drop the puck


Need to know

The Sabres have won four of their past five games. … Karlsson had a game-high 29:00 of ice time. … The Senators lost for the second time on home ice this season (5-2-0). … The Senators have scored once on their past 15 power plays.


What's next

Sabres: At the Boston Bruins on Monday (7 p.m. ET; Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NESN, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Senators: At the Nashville Predators on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2, FS-TN, NHL.TV)


Video: Okposo, Reinhart lead Sabres in comeback win

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