Anderson can't save Sens this time
Ottawa drops 4-2 decision to Buffalo
BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
|Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson deflects a second period shot against the Buffalo Sabres. (REUTERS/Doug Benz)
BUFFALO -- Craig Anderson's bubble finally burst Friday night at the HSBC Arena.
The Senators' goaltender suffered his first loss since being acquired from the Avalanche a week ago and saw his modest two-game winning streak come to an end with a 4-2 loss to the Sabres.
Playing with a group that has as many as eight players who have spent time in Binghamton, Anderson did all he could. Only Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek could beat Sabres counterpart Ryan Miller.
Trying to win three straight for only the second time this season, the Senators gave up goals by Jochen Hecht, Mike Grier, Cody McCormick and Thomas Vanek, and were outshot 39-31.
Michalek did make it interesting in the dying minutes, getting Ottawa to within a goal at 18:05 of the third by beating Miller from the left circle.
Coach Cory Clouston was pleased with the effort.
"Our guys worked hard, we made a couple of mistakes, I thought we played a pretty solid game," said Clouston. "We had a young lineup and the guys played hard.
"We didn't generate enough offence. In spurts we did, but we needed to be better in their zone. We didn't put enough pressure and that allowed them to spend more time in our zone than we wanted. We don't have that chemistry. We've got a lot of young guys."
The loss was tough on Anderson.
"It's not a good feeling when you don't win," said Anderson. "You never want to feel like that. Miller made some big saves to keep them with the lead. We were definitely pushing at the end.
"The guys coming up, it's a good opportunity for them. I was expecting the effort, that's the one thing you can give every night. More times than not, if you play with effort and play as a team, you're going to have a good chance to win."
Nick Foligno, halted by Miller with seconds remaining, was left shaking his head because he wasn't able to get the puck up. Vanek then sealed it with an empty-netter.
"We were disappointed in the way we started, but we weathered the storm and gave ourselves a chance to win. It speaks to the character and how hard guys are working to win," said Foligno.
"We got great goaltending from Anderson and if we get that one late, it's a whole different game. I'm proud of the way we stayed in it."
Spezza said Anderson has been solid.
"Andy's been great. He's been steady ever since he's gotten here," said Spezza. "He looks really calm in the net and we've just got to keep trying to help him out."
With Monday's 3 p.m. trade deadline looming, the changes continue. Marek Svatos made his Senators debut after being picked up on waivers, while Corey Locke and Roman Wick suited up after being recalled from Binghamton.
Even Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff has a hard time keeping track of the Ottawa moves.
"It is hard to get a read. They've got so many different players ... from their last game," said Ruff. "This is a totally different team."