Game file: Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres on March 13, 2011

This game meant a heckuva lot more to the Sabres. Buffalo needed two points to tighten its grip on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, especially after losing in regulation to the late-charging Toronto Maple Leafs the night before.

Game file: Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres on March 13, 2011
Kyle Turris #7 of the Ottawa Senators scores during the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

WHY THE SENATORS LOST

This game meant a heckuva lot more to the Sabres. Buffalo needed two points to tighten its grip on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, especially after losing in regulation to the late-charging Toronto Maple Leafs the night before. The Senators could already declare their four-game road trip a success, thanks to three straight 2-1 victories. Even without Ryan Miller between the pipes, Lindy Ruff’s crew was bound to be a tough out.

STUD

Tyler Ennis, Sabres

The rookie has a scary-good shot. His first goal was pretty nice, coming on a breakaway deke after a complete defensive collapse. The second was a thing of beauty. Ennis fired from a razor-sharp angle, found the tiniest of open areas over Craig Anderson’s shoulder and decimated the water bottle sitting atop the net.

DUD

Chris Phillips, Senators

It was a nightmare game for the big veteran. He played a role in Buffalo goals 2-4, whether it was getting caught flat-footed, swinging his stick around instead of taking the body or screening his netminder. To be fair, he wasn’t the only one flubbing it in his own zone though.

GAME CHANGER

The Senators were able to hang with their opponents early on, twice tying it up after falling behind. When Paul Gaustad give the Sabres their first two-goal lead on a power play just over two minutes into second period, it signaled the beginning of the end. It also prompted Ottawa coach Cory Clouston to pull Craig Anderson from the net for the first time.

KEY STATS

- 3: Assists for Buffalo defenceman Mike Weber.
- 3-8-1: Buffalo’s record in last 12 home games vs. Ottawa.
- 3-0-1: Buffalo’s record in last four home games overall.
- 14: Days in between home games after the Sabres wrapped up a franchise record seven-game trip Saturday night.

YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

Ruff’s decision to start Jhonas Enroth was nearly a costly one. The rookie fought the puck all night, even managing to allow a Jason Spezza goal from right behind the net. Spezza almost scored on another weird bounce when the puck hit the post, hit Enroth’s back, and then harmlessly settled into the goalie’s pants. Of Buffalo’s two backups, however, he’s the best option. Enroth improved to 5-2-1 with the win, while the injured Patrick Lalime is 0-5.

SPEZZA SHINES

Lost in the loss was another great game for Jason Spezza. We probably should have seen it coming, considering he has 22 goals and 35 assists in 55 career games against Buffalo, but he’s been especially dominant lately. With his three points Sunday evening, he now has 22 in his last 13 games against the Sabres. He also has 18 points in 17 games since returning from a separated shoulder on Feb. 5.

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