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game recap

Robin Lehner, Sabres shut out Senators

Makes 37 saves to help Buffalo get first win in four games

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Robin Lehner made 37 saves, and four players scored to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-0 win against the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Lehner had 16 saves in the third period for his first shutout of the season, fourth of his NHL career and first against his former team.

"It is a big win, but the big piece is [Lehner] there; [Lehner] gave us a chance all game," Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly said. "Without him playing the way he did, it would have been a much different story."

 

WATCH: All Senators vs. Sabres highlights

 

The shutout was Lehner's second with the Sabres, first since he made 38 saves in a 4-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 19, 2016.

Video: Lehner, Mrazek earn Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

"It's nice, it's always nice, but I have got to be honest, every two points we get is a really good feeling, every win we get," Lehner said. "We've been in some stretches where we haven't been consistent enough, some stretches where we haven't scored goals, some stretches where me and [Anders] Nilsson wish we came up with some more saves. But wins right now is a really good feeling."

The Sabres (21-20-10) ended a three-game losing streak. The Senators (27-17-6) went 1-2-0 on their three-game road trip.

Kyle Okposo gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead with 9:49 left in the first period on a strong individual effort after taking a pass from Josh Gorges, who returned to the lineup after missing 12 games with a hip injury.

Video: OTT@BUF: Reinhart finishes own rebound in front

O'Reilly made it 2-0 with 3:09 left in the second period when he tipped a shot by defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen past goalie Mike Condon for his 10th goal.

Sam Reinhart made it 3-0 5:53 into the third period. After receiving a pass from Jack Eichel, Reinhart's initial shot was stopped by Condon, but he gathered the rebound and scored his 11th of the season.

Marcus Foligno scored to make it 4-0 with 9:09 left in the third after he received a pass from Eichel and shot it past Condon. Andrew Hammond replaced Condon following Foligno's goal and made one save; Condon had 21 saves.

"I felt some pressure needing to perform and play a good game for those guys," Foligno said. "Jack and Sam have been working hard, we've all been working hard, but we just haven't had results, and it's nice to have results."

Video: OTT@BUF: Foligno capitalizes on a turnover down low

 

Goal of the game

Okposo, using his body to shield the puck from Senators defenseman Marc Methot, skated along the right-wing boards toward the blue line from below the goal line before cutting to the slot to beat Condon with a backhand inside the left post.

Video: OTT@BUF: Okposo roofs backhand after nice solo effort

 

Save of the game

Lehner gloved Ottawa center Derick Brassard's shot 3:40 into the third period after he used his chest to stop his initial one-touch shot up high off a pass from below the goal line from Mark Stone with the Senators on the power play.

Video: OTT@BUF: Lehner denies Brassard at the doorstep

 

Highlight of the game

Lehner made a glove save on Ottawa forward Mike Hoffman with 18 seconds left in the second period.

Video: OTT@BUF: Lehner flashes the leather to rob Hoffman

 

Unsung performance of the game

Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe had a plus-1 rating and two blocked shots in 18:48 of ice time, including 1:15 on the penalty kill, after missing five games with a shoulder injury.

 

They said it

"[Sabres goalie Robin Lehner] played really well. We had enough shots, that wasn't the issue, but we didn't pay the price in front of the net. He played well, but we definitely didn't pay the price in front of him, and a goalie that size that's doing it that well, you can't expect to score goals if you're not doing that. ... There was no traffic in front of him. There was not enough fight there." -- Senators coach Guy Boucher

 

"Any [former] team you get a little more firepower. [Lehner] played phenomenal tonight (and) I think all year. He's been one of the most consistent players. He's given us a chance so many times. It's nice to see him beat his old team like that in a shutout. He played phenomenal tonight." -- Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly

 

Video: OTT@BUF: O'Reilly tips home Ristolainen's wrister

 

"That's the way we're approaching every game. We want to get to our best. We want to get to where we're a good team every night." -- Sabres coach Dan Bylsma

 

Need to know

Buffalo is 5-0-1 in its past six home games. … The Sabres are 16-3-1 when Eichel has at least two points in his two NHL seasons, including 8-0-0 this season.

 

What's next

Senators: Host the the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Sabres: At the New Jersey Devils on Monday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lehner, Sabres blank Senators, 4-0

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