BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- The Buffalo Sabres didn't want to make team history on
Despite failing to hold onto a two-goal lead, Buffalo was able to muster a
2-2 tie with the Ottawa Senators and snapped a seven-game losing streak. The
losing skid was tied for the longest in franchise history.
"We didn't quit tonight," Sabres forward J.P. Dumont said. "We got a good
effort from everyone. We're going to win some games if we play like that."
Dumont and rookie Derek Roy scored for Buffalo, winless in its last eight
Roy's goal was his first of his NHL career.
"I'm going to save the puck for myself," he said.
The Senators, who are unbeaten in their last four (3-0-1), countered with
late second period goals by Todd White and Antoine Vermette.
White cut Buffalo's lead to 2-1 with his fourth goal of the season with a
minute left in the second. Vermette tied it at 2 just 29 seconds later.
The goals gave Ottawa momentum heading into the third, but Buffalo showed
their resiliency in garnering a point for the first time since a 3-2 win in
Chicago on Dec. 3.
"It was easy for us to say 'not again' but we didn't lay back," Dumont
said. "It was a big point for us."
Roy, playing in just his fourth game of his career, assisted in a Buffalo
attack that registered 14 shots on Senators goaltender Patrick Lalime in the
third, and added five more in overtime.
"You can't feel happy," Roy said. "It's unfortunate they scored a couple
of goals. We have to tighten our system and tighten up our game. But we worked
hard and it's encouraging."
Buffalo goalie Mika Noronen, making his second career start against the
Senators, made 31 saves.
Lalime stopped 36 shots for Ottawa.
"We were fortunate to get those two late goals to pull even for the
third," White said. "We didn't have a good first 30 minutes so to be tied at
2 was fortunate."
Roy gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 16:48 of the first, beating Lalime with a
backhand from the slot.
"As soon as the puck went in I shook my head because I couldn't believe it
went in," he said. "I just fired the puck toward the net and hoped it went
Dumont's team-leading 11th goal of the year put Buffalo up 2-0 just barely
over a minute into the second after his wicked slap shot from the right circle
The Senators were finally able to solve Noronen late in the second.
White, who scored the winner in Ottawa's overtime victory over Florida on
Monday, cut Buffalo's lead to 2-1 with 1:01 left in the second. After skating
from behind the goal line to 3 feet in front of the net, White lifted a quick
shot over Noronen's shoulder.
Vermette tied the score with his second goal in as many games. Vermette's
wrist shot from the right circle snuck past Noronen and into the net.
"We expected them to come out hard because of their situation and they
did," Lalime said. "They were a desperate team."
The Sabres are winless in their last six games at home (0-5-1), but coach
Lindy Ruff liked what he saw against a team that Buffalo has had some success
The Sabres are 1-0-2 this season against Ottawa and improved to 7-2-2 at
home when facing the Senators.
"We had a real good effort out of a lot of different guys," Ruff said.
"It's tough to have a two-goal lead and not win, but from an effort
standpoint, you can see that we won't be out of it."
Lalime preserved the tie with a pad save on Miroslav Satan, who walked in
alone and tried deking the goaltender with 3 seconds remaining in overtime
after corralling Chris Phillips' turnover in the slot.
"It was a very quick turnover so I just wanted to challenge him," Lalime
Ottawa has been the opposite of Buffalo during the month of December.
Tuesday's tie improved the Senators' record to 7-2-2 since the beginning of the