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Bouncing the Other Way

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
When a team is winning, every bounce seems to go their way. For the Buffalo Sabres, the exact opposite has been true during its current four-game losing streak. Mike Grier's potentially game-tying goal 35 seconds into the third period was disallowed as Buffalo lost to the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Friday night.

"We've had a lot of great bounces go our way," said head coach Lindy Ruff of his team's success this season. "A lot of good things have happened and we got a lot of great breaks to win hockey games or comeback to win hockey games. We've got to continue to grind away and be better in some little areas."

Crashing the net, Grier slapped at Henrik Tallinder's rebound just in front of the right goal post and appeared to score his eighth goal of the season. After a lengthy review, which lasted nearly five minutes, the goal was disallowed. It was determined by the league office in Toronto that the spinning puck didn't fully cross the goal line.

"I thought it was in, the referee thought it was in, but I guess Toronto had an angle where they thought the puck didn't totally go over the line," said Grier.

Adamantly protesting the call during the game, Ruff agreed with the official's assessment following the contest.

"The officials went to Toronto and they couldn't find any angle that showed the goal over the line," said Ruff. "From what I've seen, the call they made seems to be the correct one."

Patrick Eaves sealed Buffalo fate and gave Ottawa a two-goal cushion four minutes later off a hard wristshot from the slot.

Daniel Briere scored the lone goal for the Sabres, with JP Dumont and Brian Campbell assisting on the play.

"We didn't play quite as well as we should have, especially against that team," said Grier. "We worked harder and played a little bit better (than the past three games), but I still don't know if we played good enough to win."

Goaltender Ryan Miller shook off a rocky first period that saw the Senators take a 2-0 lead and finished with 21 saves. The consummate team player, Miller tried to force all blame for the loss squarely on his own shoulders.

"The guys are playing good hockey and I've got to come up with some of those saves," said Miller of the two goals in the first. "It's early in the game and I've got to get one if not both of those."

Daniel Alfredsson opened the scoring for Ottawa with his sixth goal against Buffalo this season. Receiving a feed from Tyler Arnason, Ottawa's captain pulled the puck to his backhand and slipped a soft shot between the legs of Miller at 4:32 of the first.

The Sabres fell behind 2-0 for the fourth time in as many games, as Antoine Vermette took a loose puck at the base of the left face-off circle unmolested to the net and beat the Sabres netminder five-hole with another backhand shot.

Briere brought Buffalo to within a goal with the only goal of the second period. As Chris Neil's hooking penalty expired, Briere one-timed JP Dumont's rebound at 9:54. Ottawa goaltender Ray Emery stopped Dumont's redirect of Brian Campbell's slapshot from the high slot with his right pad, but gave Briere the wide-open net with the kick save.

Four minutes after the disallowed goal, Eaves snapped a hard wristshot into the top right corner of the net to expand Ottawa's lead to a pair of goals.

Eaves collected a bouncing puck 15-feet in front of the net and fired for his 15th goal of the season.

Scoresheet | Super Stats | Faceoff Comp | Play By Play | Shift Chart

Period 1
0-1 (4:32): Tyler Arnason split two Sabres defenders down the slot and fed Daniel Alfredsson, who gained control of the puck and slipped a backhander between the legs of Ryan Miller for his sixth goal against the Sabres this season. The even-strength goal is Alfredsson's 39th of the season. Arnason and Andrej Maszaros get the helpers.

0-2 (6:56): Buffalo falls behind by a pair of goals for the fourth time in as many games, as Antoine Vermette collects a loose puck at the bottom of the left face-off circle, skates in untouched on Miller and beat the netminder five-hole with a backhand. The goal is Vermette's 19th of the season. Brian McGratton and Chris Kelly get the helpers.

Period 2
1-2 (9:54): Daniel Briere chips JP Dumont's rebound into a wide open net for Buffalo's first goal of the game. Emery stopped Dumont's redirect of Brian Campbell's slapshot from the point with his right pad but gave up the juicy rebound for Briere. The goal is Briere's 21st of the season. Dumont and Campbell get the helpers.

Period 3
1-3 (4:56): Patrick Eaves snapped a hard wristshot into the top right corner of the net to expand Ottawa's lead to a pair of goals. Positioned in the low slot, a bouncing puck skipped out to the right wing from behind the net, setting up his 15th goal of the season. Jason Spezza and Wade Redden get the helpers.
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