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Turris leads Senators past Sabres for another one-game win

The SportsXchange

BUFFALO -- No matter who's out of the lineup, the Ottawa Senators continue to show plenty of fight.

With stars Craig Anderson and Jason Spezza injured -- and defenseman Erik Karlsson out for the year with an Achilles tendon injury -- the Senators rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at the First Niagara Center.

Kyle Turris scored the game-winner as part of a three-point performance.

It capped a back-and-forth day for the Senators, who rallied from a two-goal deficit in the second period but saw their 3-2 lead slip away on a weak wrist shot with just under eight minutes to go in regulation.

"Our team is based on structure and work ethic and those are the things that no matter who's in our lineup are constants for our team," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "Tonight, we didn't have it in the first period but I thought in the second period and the third you saw what work ethic and structure can do for your team and that's what's got us through to this point."

Turris' overtime blast came on the power play 3:54 into overtime. With Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff serving a two-minute interference penalty, Turris received a perfect set-up pass from captain Daniel Alfredsson and rifled a shot past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller from inside the left circle.

"I just have to tip my hat to Turris," Miller said. "I thought I was there. That was straight up, bad angle, right over my shoulder next to my ear."

It was the second goal of the game for Turris, who was buzzing up and down the ice throughout the entire game. He gave Ottawa a 3-2 lead before the end of the second period on a nifty wrap-around.

"I thought Kyle was probably our best forward tonight," MacLean said. "He was up and down the rink, I thought he skated the rink and was active on the puck, obviously scoring two goals he was shooting the puck and that's real good to see."

Chris Phillips and Patrick Wiercioch also scored for the Senators, (14-8-6). Ben Bishop, starting in place of the injured Anderson, had 33 saves.

Drew Stafford had two goals and Mike Weber also scored for the Sabres(10-14-4). Miller had 30 saves for Buffalo.

The Sabres jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one of their better periods of the season.

Mike Weber opened the scoring at 8:52 of the first period on his first goal of the year. Weber's wrist shot from the point found a way through with traffic in front of the Ottawa net. It was the defenseman's first goal in 50 games; he last scored on Jan. 21, 2012 against St. Louis.

Stafford made it 2-0 with 4:44 left in the first period. After Nathan Gerbe's wrist shot was stopped by Bishop, Stafford found the loose puck in the crease and backhanded it home for his third of the year.

Buffalo's defensive struggles quickly returned at the start of the second period, however.

"I thought the first was probably one of our best periods of the year, and the second was probably one of our worst," Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. "We must've just got comfortable and we didn't get our feet moving in the second."

Patrick Wiercioch's slap shot from just behind the left circle began Ottawa's comeback 4:03 into the second period after a flurry of offensive pressure from the Senators.

Ottawa tied the game at 2-2 just before the midway point of the second period. After a clean faceoff win from the Buffalo zone, Chris Phillips' slap shot from the right point was saved by Miller but deflected off Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold into the net at 10:14 of the second.

Turris' impressive one-man effort gave Ottawa its first lead of the game with 1:03 left in the second. Turris raced around the Buffalo net and beat Miller on a wrap-around effort for his sixth goal of the season.

Stafford tied the game at 3-3 at 12:06 of the third period on a far wrist shot to Bishop's right. The goalie misplayed the shot, which led to Stafford's fourth goal of the season.

It was the 11th one-goal game in a row for the Senators, who were fifth in the Eastern Conference with 34 points heading into Saturday night's action.

"I think that's just the way the league is right now with everybody, the shotgun-finish type-thing going right now," Bishop said. "Everybody's going to the horn and going hard so there's going to be a lot of one-goal games, I think, for the rest of the year."

NOTES: Sabres forward Ville Leino played after missing Buffalo's first 27 games with a hip injury. A high-priced free-agent addition last year, Leino struggled in his first season with the Sabres, picking up 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 71 games. To make room for Leino, the Sabres sent rookie Mikhail Grigorenko back to his junior team, the Quebec Remparts, on Friday. ... Sabres center Tyler Ennis (head) returned to the lineup after missing one game. ... Kaspars Daugavins was scratched for the Senators. John Scott and Patrick Kaleta (suspension) were scratched for the Sabres. ... This was the 115th game all-time between Buffalo and Ottawa. The Sabres lead the series with a 56-43-16 record.
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