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Surging Sabres outlast Senators in shootout

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres have discovered that there's no place like home.

Matt Moulson scored the only goal in the shootout and Jhonas Enroth stopped all three shooters to give Buffalo a 5-4 victory against the Ottawa Senators at First Niagara Center on Monday.

The Sabres (13-16-2) have won four games in a row and 10 of 13. They've also won six straight in front of their own fans.

"We're starting to get the contributions from everyone," coach Ted Nolan said. "On any given shift someone can get one for us and we're not looking for one line or one set of defensemen, it's a whole. It's a whole team, which is a good sign."

The six-game home winning streak is the Sabres' longest since their Presidents' Trophy-winning 2006-07 season when they won six straight between Jan. 17 and Feb. 15, 2007.

"I think it's one of those things where you turn the corner and you just hope you keep taking off," forward Marcus Foligno said. "It's been a while since the feeling has been like this in this room, where confidence is high and you're getting a lot of production from different lines, where before it wasn't there. It's just positive energy. It takes a while to build something here. We've got something special going."

Sabres forward Brian Flynn tied it 4-4 with 3:29 left in the third period when he put the rebound of a shot by Foligno past Senators goalie Robin Lehner for his fourth goal of the season.

"Timely scoring, great goaltending and I still think we can play a bit better," Flynn said. "It's nice when you can find ways to win games like this when you don't play your 'A' game."

Alex Chiasson gave the Senators a 4-3 lead 5:04 into the third period with his seventh goal of the season. Chiasson stole the puck from Sabres defenseman Andrej Meszaros near the blue line and skated in on a 2-on-1 with Curtis Lazar against Tyson Strachan. Chiasson deked and took a backhand that beat Enroth.

"We battled back here and got a point, but it's definitely not the way we wanted to play as a team," Chiasson said. "We're still moving in the right direction. We do a lot more things the way we're supposed to do them and it obviously shows during the game."

The Senators (12-12-6) overcame a 3-1 deficit.

Forward Mark Stone cut the Sabres' lead to 3-2 with his seventh goal of the season. Stone received a pass from Kyle Turris on a 3-on-2 against Sabres defensemen Tyler Myers and Nikita Zadorov and took a wrist shot that beat Enroth at 13:42 of the second period.

"I thought the first 10 minutes of the third period we got back to the way were playing before which was five guys tight through all three zones and guys putting in an effort and short shifts and trusting the guy beside them," Senators coach Dave Cameron said. "I thought we took it to them there and scored three unanswered goals and we're on top of our game but we weren't able to close it."

Lazar made it 3-3 at 2:02 of the third period with his first career NHL goal. He poked the rebound of an Erik Condra shot past Enroth after a turnover by Strachan.

"It's really nice to see," Cameron said. "He's such a terrific kid. He was snake bitten a little bit, so it was nice to see him get that."

Bobby Ryan scored in the first period for the Senators. Ryan has scored a point in four of the past five games and has six points in that time. Rasmus Ristolainen scored a power-play goal at 4:11 of the second period that tied it 1-1. It was the Sabres' seventh power-play goal of the season.

"They got some life with the [power-play] goal," Ryan said. "You don't realize how big that is when you score a [power-play] goal… They made some plays."

Moulson and Foligno made it 3-1 when they scored 32 seconds apart in the second period.

Moulson's seventh goal of the season came when he put a rebound of his own deflection of an Andrej Meszaros shot past Lehner.

"Sometimes you get lucky," Moulson said. "I thought I got a piece of it when Meszaros shot it and it went in. But I was lucky enough to be there, and I'll take those goals."

Foligno scored in his third consecutive game when he tapped in a pass from Flynn for his fifth goal of the season.

"It was a 3-on-2 from our own end," Flynn said. "No one came to me so I just kind of hung onto it, hung onto it, and tried to wait for Gionta or Foligno to find a lane and I was fortunate that puck got through to [Foligno]."

Enroth and Lehner each made 29 saves.

Sabres forward Torrey Mitchell sustained a lower-body injury when he blocked a shot by Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson in the first period. Mitchell did not return following the period. With the Sabres on the road to play the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, they recalled forward Mikhail Grigorenko from Rochester of the American Hockey League.

"With a young team it's going to take some time," Nolan said. "Knock on wood, we don't have some more bumps. But when you're developing a young team, you're going to go through those spurts and we're not through the woods yet. We've still got a lot of growing to do."

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