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game recap

Reinhart helps Sabres defeat Senators

Buffalo forward joins rookie linemate Jack Eichel with 20 goals

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

Reinhart's PPG opens the scoring

BUF@OTT: Reinhart puts the Sabres ahead early

3/18/16: Sam Reinhart's initial rebound try is saved, but he flips another attempt off the glove of Craig Anderson and in for a power-play goal

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BUFFALO -- Sam Reinhart showed there is another Buffalo Sabres rookie worth watching this season.

Reinhart scored his 20th goal and had an assist to help the Buffalo Sabres defeat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 at First Niagara Center on Friday.

Reinhart gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead 2:07 into the first period with a power-play goal. After Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf was called for slashing, Reinhart put a rebound of a Zemgus Girgensons shot past Senators goalie Craig Anderson.

"I think we came out and really wanted to turn around our starts," Reinhart said. "As of lately, they haven't been the best and we've been better as the game's gone on. To get that first one early and that next one right after, that got us going on the right page and we followed that up. It was a good effort tonight."

Video: OTT@BUF: Bogosian finishes Reinhart's feed in the 2nd

Reinhart and Jack Eichel (22 goals) are the third pair of Sabres rookies to each score at least 20 goals in a season, and the first since 1974-75 (Danny Gare and Peter McNab). Gilbert Perreault and Steve Atkinson did it in 1970-71.

"You look at the raw talent [Eichel and Reinhart] have, that's great, but the goals they score, they're not by mistake," Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian said. "They're in the right areas; they have a head for the game. Obviously Jack being an explosive skater gets in those areas very quick, and Sam may not be as explosive as Jack, but he thinks the game quick, he has a good hockey IQ, and they definitely score their goals differently. Sam's a great net-front guy; he's got good hand-eye coordination. As a defenseman, you know when you're shooting it on net he's mostly likely to get a stick on it. It's impressive to see two young guys score that much, but more importantly how they're scoring them and the time in the game that they're scoring them is really impressive."

Reinhart set up Bogosian for his sixth goal of the season 9:53 into the second period to make it 3-1. Reinhart, the second pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, received a pass from Eichel, the second pick in 2015, and then passed across the crease to Bogosian.

"You've seen that play five or six times this year where he's found the guy in the back door," Bogosian said. "[He] hasn't rushed the pass, just a smart play right to the open guy. It was nothing surprising. I knew it was probably going to find me because when he has the puck on his stick he's generally thinking pass more than shoot, but obviously he's got a lot of goals this year, but he's a great playmaker so I was ready for the pass."

Video: OTT@BUF: Deslauriers taps home O'Reilly's feed

The Sabres (29-33-10) have a point in eight of the past 11 games. The Senators (33-31-8) had won two in a row. Ottawa's 74 points and are seven behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"Not good enough," Senators coach Dave Cameron said. "Disappointing, didn't seem like we had a lot of energy tonight. I thought that we left a lot of rebounds around the net that we didn't get to, and our special teams."

Senators forward Scott Gomez almost made it 3-2 with a power-play goal 3:53 into the third period, but video replay showed he redirected Bobby Ryan's shot from the left circle into the net with his glove.

"I could see it wasn't really a hard shot, when he shot it, it was a rolling puck there," Sabres goalie Chad Johnson said. "It was just one of those refs following [the play], and I could see him and [the puck] was close to his stick, but I was pretty confident it hit his glove, so I wanted to make sure the ref knew that I thought it was a glove play and hit it with his glove so they would actually review it."

Video: OTT@BUF: Johnson closes up the five-hole on Ryan

Senators forward Alex Chiasson made it 1-1 5:33 into the first period. He picked up a loose puck after a shot by Mike Hoffman and slid it past Johnson for his sixth goal of the season. Hoffman extended his point streak to three games.

"Tough one; we need more pride; need to battle a little hard," Chiasson said. "We're fighting for our life, for our playoff hope. Not the effort that's demanded of us. We should expect more from ourselves."

Johnson made 32 saves in place of Robin Lehner, who missed the game with an ankle injury.

Video: OTT@BUF: Chiasson buries a rebound past Johnson

Nicolas Deslauriers gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead at 8:17 of the first period with his sixth goal. Deslauriers skated to the Senators net and received a pass from Ryan O'Reilly.

"Awesome play," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "It was a forecheck goal; forecheck puck on the hard rim and he scoops it up. … I don't know where he saw him, but [Deslauriers] goes hard to the net, makes an awesome play. It's an elite player making an elite play."

Ottawa hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday; Buffalo visits the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Video: Johnson, Reinhart lead Sabres over Senators

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