For the second time in three games, the Buffalo Sabres jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and things were looking good. And for the second time in three games, the end result was like so many others this season - a loss.
The Ottawa Senators scored three unanswered goals in the second and third period to beat Buffalo 3-2. Erik Karlson, Mika Zibanejad, and Mark Stone scored for the Senators, who have now won seven of their last eight games. They've done so mostly on the back of AHL goaltender Andrew Hammond, aka "Hamburglar".
The Hamburglar struggled early, giving up goals to Phil Varone and Tyler Ennis in the first period, and looked a bit rattled in his own crease. However, those would be the only pucks that would get by Hammond, who has not given up more than two goals in any of his first eight NHL starts.
Phil Varone had a goal and an assist tonight, and with Tyler Ennis' goal, the team's top line was clicking just fine. However, considering the injuries and talent level currently on the team, that top line is about all they have, and it showed tonight. The Sabres couldn't generate many meaningful chances in the final two periods, and it was simply a matter of time before the Senators capitalized.
We also found out after the game that Chad Johnson's lower body injury, which kept him out of the crease tonight, could be season ending. Should that be true, Johnson's season would be over without playing a single game for the Sabres. That's somehow perfect.
1. How will Mikhail Grigorenko fare on the second line instead of the fourth?
We'll never know because Ted Nolan demoted Grigorenko to the fourth line after his first two shifts of the game. Grigorenko would work back into the regular rotation a bit, but still finished with the fourth-worst ice time on the team. He registered one shot and three hits, but was a terrible 17% on faceoffs.
2. Will Chad Johnson look any better than Anders Lindback did in his Sabres debut?
See you next year, Chad.
3. How many SATs can the Sabres generate tonight?
Buffalo generated 42 SATs...but the Senators had 72.