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Fatigue Leads to Loss

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Skating on fatigued legs from playing three games in four nights, the Buffalo Sabres couldn't contend with the speed of the Ottawa Senators and recorded the team's first loss of the 2005-06 season. The Senators scored three goals in the third period en route to the 5-0 victory at the Corel Centre on Saturday night.

Buffalo fired 19 shots on Dominik Hasek during the first period of play, but tired in the later two periods due to the team's rigorous schedule. Buffalo's shots on goals dwindled after the first period to just 16 shots in the second and third periods combined.

Ryan Miller took the loss for Buffalo making 30 saves, while Hasek recorded the shutout stopping 35 shots.

Miller stood strong even though he was put in several bad situations due to Buffalo turnovers. Twice during the first two periods of the game, Senators forward Martin Havlat, who scored 31 goals for Ottawa during the 2003-04 season, was stonewalled by Miller on breakaways.

The Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic native finally converted on his third one-on-one opportunity with the rookie, freezing Miller with a shot fake before switch to the backhand.

The Sabres' special teams unit also struggled on both ends of the ice, failing to convert on seven power-play opportunities while killing just two of Ottawa's five power plays.

The last time Buffalo had been held scoreless was April 2, 2004 when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Sabres 2-0 in HSBC Arena. Prior to Saturday's game, the Sabres hadn't been shutout on the road since November 11, 2003 at Montreal.

Buffalo will face the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sydney Crosby next in HSBC Arena at 7:00 PM on Monday.


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

Period 1
0-1 (14:54): A give-away by Toni Lydman leads to a goal by Jason Spezza. Brandon Bochenski is credited with the assist after sliding the puck through the crease just in front of Ryan Miller to Spezza with a blind pass. Wade Redden gets the other helper.

Miller stops eight shots and allows one goal in the period. On the other end of the ice, Dominik Hasek stopped all 19 shots the Sabres fired on goal. Buffalo stayed out of the penalty box but failed to convert on three power play opportunities.

Period 2

2-0 (8:05): Off the face-off in the Buffalo zone, a clearing pass from Chris Phillips caroms of a skate and hits Miller with some traffic in front of the net. The Buffalo goaltender initially makes the save but the puck bounces off his shoulder into the net. The power play goal came during the Senators first man-advantage of the game. Chris Neil is credited with the goal, with helpers going to Redden and Dany Heatley.

Period 3
3-0 (4:41): Martin Havlat beats Miller on a breakaway to extend Ottawa's lead to three. Havlatt picked up the puck in the neutral zone and skated in one-on-one with Miller before faking the shot and scoring the short-handed goal with a backhand.

4-0 (7:55): Wade Redden fires a shot from the point on the power play for his first goal of the season. Neil was camped in front of the net and didn't Miller to even get a glimpse of the shot. Assists go to Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza.

4-0 (7:56): Andrew Peters and Brian McGratton stand at center ice and trade haymakers mercilessly. The two throw a flurry of punches for about a minute before the linesmen separate the scrum. Decision: Draw

5-0 (17:50): Another power play goal for Ottawa and Brian Pothier fired a shot from the point that was redirected by Chris Neil. The goal was his second of the night. Pothier and Zdeno Chara earn the helpers.
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