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game recap

Senators score three power-play goals in win against Sabres

Ennis, Reilly each has goal, assist; Ullmark leaves game with lower-body injury

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Reilly's long range one-timer

OTT@BUF: Reilly pots one-timer for lead on power play

Tyler Ennis drops a behind-the-back pass to Mike Reilly, who fires a one-timer into the back of the net to give the Senators a 3-2 lead

  • 00:44 •

BUFFALO -- The Ottawa Senators scored three power-play goals in a 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

Tyler Ennis and Mike Reilly had a goal and an assist for Ottawa (18-23-9), which went 3-for-4 on the power play. Craig Anderson made 28 saves.

The Senators, who lost 4-3 in a shootout at home against the New Jersey Devils on Monday, are 2-1-4 in their past seven games.

"We've been in a lot of games. We kind of strung out some overtime losses there and gotten some points," Anderson said. "We haven't been rewarded for our efforts, but we've just got to keep striving to get better and get rewarded for the good hard work, and that's what it was tonight."

 

[WATCH: All Senators vs. Sabres highlights]

 

Linus Ullmark made 30 saves for Buffalo (22-21-7) but fell awkwardly in his crease and left the game at 10:28 of the third period because of a lower-body injury. Carter Hutton made four saves in relief.

"It's always painful to watch that kind of situation," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said of Ullmark, who will be evaluated Wednesday. "We'll see and we'll work through it with him now."

The Sabres, who played their first game since Jan. 18, trail the Carolina Hurricanes by 10 points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"We can't play like that at home, a team coming off a back-to-back. We just had a break," said Buffalo captain Jack Eichel, who scored his 29th goal of the season, an NHL career high. "It's not good enough. I mean, if you want to make the playoffs, that's not a playoff-caliber effort by us. You know that, I know that, everyone in the room knows that."

Video: OTT@BUF: Eichel sets new career high in goals

Reilly broke a tie on the power play at 8:43 of the third period with a shot from the point to give the Senators a 3-2 lead.

"It was just something we've been clicking of late and being able to make plays," Reilly said of the power play. "I know [Davis] Payne, the assistant coach, has done a really good job with giving us a good game plan, seeing what we can kind of exploit. Definitely feel like it's been going well."

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his 20th goal of the season when he redirected Thomas Chabot's spin-o-rama shot to give the Senators a 1-0 lead on the power play at 3:59 of the first period.

Sam Reinhart responded for the Sabres with a backhand shot from point-blank range for a power-play goal at 13:42 of the first to make it 1-1.

Ennis converted a cross-ice pass from Drake Batherson at 4:52 of the second period for a power-play goal to give the Senators a 2-1 lead.

Video: OTT@BUF: Ennis snaps home Batherson's pass for PPG

The Sabres again tied it when Eichel poked in a loose puck in front of Anderson at 8:48 to make it 2-2.

Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki blocked two shots during a penalty kill and then made it 4-2 with an empty-net goal at 17:54. Nikita Zaitsev also scored into an empty net with six seconds remaining for the 5-2 final.

"It's tough," Eichel said. "We come in here every day and hear from [the media] how many points we're out [of a playoff spot] and what we need to do to get to the playoffs and this and that. 

"It's important to keep it small. If you overlook things, it'll bite you in the [rear end] kind of like it did tonight. Maybe we overlooked this game. Every game for us should be the most important game on our schedule."

 

They said it

"He's kind of the heart and soul of the team. You know what effort he's going to bring every single night and guys can feed off that for sure with his physicality and his compete level. It kind of gets guys going. Maybe things are going bad; you just see how hard he's competing and you want to try to rise to the occasion a little bit just like him." -- Senators defenseman Mike Reilly on defenseman Mark Borowiecki

"We [gave up] three goals on four penalty kills. That's unacceptable and there's no excuse for it. It is what it is now and the only thing we can do with that is look at how it evolved, how it happened, and we need to improve. It's unacceptable that it went that way and it's, in the end, the difference in the game tonight." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

 

Need to know

It was the first time the Senators scored three power-play goals in a game this season. … Pageau has 20 goals in a season for the first time in his NHL career. … Sabres forward Jeff Skinner had one shot on goal and was minus-2 in 18:33 after missing 10 games because of an upper-body injury. … Eichel has 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) in 16 career games against Ottawa.

 

What's next

Senators: Host the Washington Capitals on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG-B, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

Video: Ennis, Reilly lead Senators past Sabres

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