OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored two goals, leading the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
Brady Tkachuk had a goal and two assists. Craig Anderson, making his first start since suffering a knee injury Dec. 7, stopped 43 shots.
Zemgus Girgensons scored for the Sabres (17-14-7). Linus Ullmark made 27 saves.
With the game tied 1-all, Pageau scored his second of the game, taking a drop pass from Connor Brown and breaking in on Ullmark. The Sabres goalie made the initial save before Pageau pounced on the rebound of a shot by Tkachuk and scored on a backhander.
Anderson made two great saves to keep the lead, including one on Evan Rodrigues while sprawled on his back. Tkachuk added an empty-net goal to ensure the victory.
Both goalies made a number of big saves in the second period, with Ullmark stopping Tyler Ennis from close range to keep it a one-goal game.
The Sabres were finally able to beat Anderson at 15:12 as Rodrigues made a backhand pass to Girgensons, who tipped it over Anderson’s shoulder.
Despite being outshot 14-10 in the first period, it was the Senators (16-18-4) who took a 1-0 lead. Tkachuk sent a great pass to Pageau, who beat Ullmark.
Jack Eichel’s attempt at becoming the first player in Sabres history to have a point in 19 consecutive games came to an end. Eichel came into the game with 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) over his last 18 games.
NOTES: Scott Sabourin will have to wait until after Christmas to make his return as he was forced to miss the game with the flu. Sabourin has not played since Nov. 2, when he suffered a concussion after colliding with Boston’s David Backes. ... Buffalo was without Kyle Okposo due to illness.
Sabres: Host Boston Bruins on Friday.
Senators: Host New Jersey Devils on Sunday.
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