Ryan O’Reilly got fan appreciation night off to a quick start scoring just 30 seconds in. He got behind the Senators defense and beat Craig Anderson on a nice move.
In typical Sabres fashion, it didn’t take long for the Senators to respond. A little over two minutes later Max McCormick deflected a Mark Borowiecki shot between the legs of Chad Johnson for his third of the season.
The Senators took the lead six minutes into the period off of a bad bounce. A puck that was shot up the wall squirted into the high slot and Matt Duchene made no mistake firing it high glove by Johnson.
Buffalo found some life late in the period when Phil Housley mixed up the lines. Casey Mittelstadt moved to Jack Eichel’s wing and Evan Rodrigues went down to play center between Alex Nylander and Kyle Okposo.
Nylander had a few chances to get his first NHL goal and fired his best chance over the net as he was alone in front.
After 20 minutes the Senators held a 2-1 lead, but the Sabres held the lead in shots on goal 14-10.
Ottawa increased their lead early in the middle frame just as a power play expired. Ryan Dzingel turned and snapped a shot by Johnson to make it 3-1 in favor of the visitors.
The Sabres struggled to get anything going for most of the period. They were outplayed for the majority of the second and it showed on the shot counter as they were outshot 14-7.
However, at the end of the period, they gave themselves some life heading into the third. Okposo beat Anderson high glove with Evan Rodrigues providing a screen in front. Mittelstadt picked up his third assist in four games on the goal.
After 40 minutes it was 3-2 in favor of the Senators.
The final 20 minutes didn’t amount to much for the Sabres. They had a few opportunities, but nothing really of significance until the final few minutes.
Alex Burrows added an empty-netter in the final minutes to clinch the win for the Senators and last place for the Sabres.
Final: Senators 4, Sabres 2
Shots on Goal: Senators 32 | Sabres 34
Sabres Goal Scorers: O’Reilly (23) and Okposo (14)
Senators Goal Scorers: McCormick (3), Duchene (27), Dzingel (21) and Burrows (6)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Ryan Dzingel (1 G, 1 A)
2. Matt Duchene (1 G)
3. Kyle Okposo (1 G)