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Sabres edge Sens in shootout

by Erin Nicks
KANATA, Ont. – In the sixth round of the shootout Saturday night, Derek Roy got the call and he didn't disappoint.

Roy had the winning goal, beating Craig Anderson top-shelf as the Buffalo Sabres outlasted the Ottawa Senators in a 3-2 victory at Scotiabank Place.

Roy also scored in regulation, along with Jordan Leopold. Milan Michalek and Erik Condra had the goals for the Sens (7-7-1). Thomas Vanek and Brad Boyes also had goals in the shootout for Buffalo (8-5-0), while Michalek and Jason Spezza beat Jhonas Enroth.

Being the 12th man to shoot gave Roy plenty of time to plan his attack.

"I got to see what all the guys did on their shots," he said. "I had my move in mind. I was trying to settle down the puck a little bit; it was bouncing tonight. I happened to shoot upstairs and it was a good thing for us. I had no nerves. I knew what I was going to do and I executed."
It was the first shootout victory of the season for the Sabres, and the first loss for the Sens, who had previously gone 3-0.

The teams exchanged blows with three goals in just under four minutes during the second but needed an extra period to settle matters. Enroth stopped 31 of 33 shots, while Craig Anderson turned away 25 of 27 for the Senators.

Saturday marked the first of back-to-back starts for Enroth, who came into Ottawa with a 3-0-0 record, and a sparkling .958 save percentage that was bolstered by a shutout streak of 107:39 (broken by the Flames' Alex Tanguay late in the third on Friday night). The 23-year-old admitted that he didn't think he would be starting against the Sens.
"It was a little bit surprising but I was happy to get the start tonight," Enroth said. "I think the team played really well in front of me. I didn't have to make many big saves. It was kind of a slow game for me."

Enroth also remained nonchalant about his role in the shootout, insisting that he just rolls with the punches.

"That's how shootouts go sometimes. Good shooters and good goals, you never know what’s going to happen," he said.
Ottawa led off the scoring in the first period during 4-on-4 play, when Chris Phillips fed an outlet pass to Michalek, who backhanded the puck past Enroth at 15:41. It was the first point for the winger after being held scoreless for the past three games and the third assist of the season for Phillips. Anderson also picked up an assist on the goal.

The Sabres tied it up in the second after Ville Leino got the puck to Roy, who wired a shot past Anderson from just inside the blue line at 10:39. It was the second point in as many nights for Roy, who had previously gone scoreless in the past six games.

The Sabres would go up 2-1 just over two minutes later, when a Nathan Gerbe rebound was batted in by Leopold for his second of the season at 12:55.

Ottawa would spring back to life at 14:13 when Zack Smith fed a beautiful pass to Condra, who caught the Buffalo defense on a change. Condra skated up the slot and went five-hole on Enroth, knotting the game at 2-2.

Saturday was the third loss in a row for the Sens, after previously stringing together a six-game winning streak. Jason Spezza thinks a few workouts on the ice will help matters.

"We just need to get back to work," he said. "I'm sure Monday will be a hard day for us. We need to get a couple of good practices in before a tough string of games. We did better things tonight; I think we just need to keep pushing the pace. I think when we're not playing well is when we're tentative and sitting back and letting teams take it to us. When we're playing well is when our (defense) is pinching and we're playing more aggressive. I'm sure Mac (Sens coach Paul MacLean) will empathize that a bit and we'll work on some down low stuff. We need to get back to the basics. We don't have to reinvent the wheel."

The Sens' power play has also become an issue for the club. After sitting first in League earlier in the week, the power play has gone 0-for-9 in the last three games.

"That was a big part of our scoring was our power play and how good it was, and we need to get back to doing that," MacLean said. "(Buffalo) pressured us really well. We didn't create the type of momentum or score a goal, or create the type of momentum we had in previous power plays. Their four-man unit were pretty heavy and solid. We're going to have to watch them and see how they kill penalties. That might be a better thing for us to work on."
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