Senators can’t rattle Sabres

The Ottawa Senators thought they played well enough to deserve two points.

Senators can’t rattle Sabres
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators handles the puck 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)

The Ottawa Senators thought they played well enough to deserve two points.

But when you squander three one-goal leads, the last with 5:54 to go in regulation, you really don’t.

So maybe it was right that the the Buffalo Sabres, clinging to faint playoff hopes, got the two points they needed to stay alive by beating the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in a shootout.

Jason Pominville and Tyler Ennis, who also scored in regulation, beat Ben Bishop in the shootout, while only Daniel Alfredsson was able to beat Ryan Miller.

Marcus Foligno, called up on an emergency basis from Rochester on Friday, sent the game to overtime and eventually a shootout when he got the tying goal – and the first of his NHL career – at 14:06 of the third.

Before the game, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said he wanted Marcus to be “the best Foligno on the ice.” He got his wish.

Foligno chased down Sergei Gonchar behind the Ottawa net and stole the puck from him on a play that Ottawa coach Paul MacLean thought should have brought a penalty for slew footing. Foligno then bounced a backhander off Daniel Alfredsson’s right foot up and over Bishop.

“They got a fortunate bounce, obviously,” said Alfredsson.

“I didn’t even see it go in. I felt for sure I stopped it. It kind of came back the way it came from. It happens.”

Erik Karlsson had two goals for the Senators while Erik Condra had one while the team was shorthanded.

The two goals give Karlsson 18, one off the record for defencemen held by Steve Duchene.

Karlsson has already set team records for defencemen for points (69), assists (51), and multi-point games (19)

Nathan Gerbe got Buffalo’s other goal.

Nick Foligno didn’t know what to do when he saw his brother score.

“I was telling Alfie, I really didn’t know how to react,” said Nick.

“I was happy and pissed off at the same time. It was definitely a weird emotion, but as a brother I’m really happy for him.”

“That was a real good play on his part. I just hope he doesn’t do that too much against us.”

Bishop, who faced 41 shots, was philosophical about the loss.

“Sometimes the bounces are going to go your way, sometimes they’re not,” he said.

“They got a couple of unfortunate bounces. We had a couple of good chances and Miller made some good saves.

“But it’s still a big point.”

Karlsson, bothered by bumps and bruises, almost didn’t play. Matt Carkner took the pre-game warmup just in case.
But Karlsson played and said he felt OK.

“I feel good,” he said.

“There’s going to be some bumps along the way. But I’m pretty happy I played (Saturday).

“It feels good to score, but we didn’t come away with two points, which we probably should have.”

GAME FILE

WHY THEY LOST: They couldn’t hold on to three one-goal leads, including one with about six minutes left. That’s happened a lot this year.

STUD: Ryan Miller: He made 36 saves and kept his teammates in the game. He also had some luck. The Senators looked as if they had three past him in the second but he stopped two and the third went wide.

DUD: Zack Smith. Had just two shifts and 1:32 of ice time in the third. Played the fewest shifts (13) and had the least ice time, 10:43. Might be looking at another seat in the press box.

NO SHOT TOO SMALL TO TAKE: The cheap shot of the year goes to NHL.com and whoever posted Tara Holloway flubbing a line from the Canadian anthem. It’s a small world after all.

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