Four's not enough

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:41 AM ET

BUFFALO -- A most impressive Senators streak came to a sudden end last night.

The 53-0 record in games they've scored at least four goals was interrupted by Gatineau native Daniel Briere, who tallied with 39 seconds left in regulation and then again with 47 seconds to go in overtime to give the Sabres a 5-4 victory over Ottawa at HSBC Arena. The streak dated to a 5-4 overtime loss to Toronto on Feb. 5, 2003.

Briere's winner came with Brian Pothier off for hooking Maxim Afinogenov. It was Buffalo's third goal on seven power plays. Ottawa was good on 1-of-3 man-advantage opportunities.

"In overtime, you usually don't see the marginal calls," said Pothier. "I'd have to look at it again, but I thought I hooked (Afinogenov's) stick.

"If I hooked his hands, I took a scoring chance away and I guess it has to be called."

That the Senators were even in the game was incredible.

The depleted Ottawa defence was without its fourth regular when Anton Volchenkov was scratched with a sore neck.

"We played hard, there was a lot of try," said Bryan Murray. "We took a couple of penalties we shouldn't have had to take.

"Obviously, some guys had to play more minutes than they're used to ... They were trying to do more and it cost us."

Pothier, who played a whopping 35:35, wasn't even the busiest Senator. That distinction belonged to Andrej Meszaros, who saw 37:47 of ice time.

Daniel Alfredsson, Patrick Eaves, Christoph Schubert and Chris Kelly scored for the Senators, who squandered 3-1 and 4-3 leads.

Jason Spezza just missed scoring with Martin Biron pulled late in the game.

"It was going in, but it just kept drifting and drifting and missed the net by an inch.

"It sucks because if it goes in, it seals the game."

Afinogenov had a goal and three assists, while Derek Roy and Rory Fitzpatrick also scored for Buffalo, which improved to 47-23-6, marking the team's most victories since winning 48 in 1983-84.

Mike Fisher had an assist, returning to the Senators lineup after missing nine games with a sprained right ankle.

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com

Sabres 5

Senators (OT) 4


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