Sabres bash Senators

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore got a glimpse of what it's like to be back on Canadian soil last night: The Senators were booed off the ice.

A little more than 24 hours after GM Bryan Murray sent a message he's serious about bringing home a Stanley Cup this spring, the Senators responded with an ugly 5-1 loss to the Sabres last night at Scotiabank Place.

"I'm not quite sure (what went wrong)," said Senators coach John Paddock. "It was like we thought this trade was going to guarantee us a Stanley Cup.

"It looked like we didn't feel like we had to prepare to play."

With the newly acquired Commodore and Stillman making their debuts after being dealt from the Hurricanes on Monday for Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves, the Senators looked like they need a chemistry lesson.

"It's disappointing. You want to come to a team and win hockey games," said Stillman. "Hopefully, next game we can be better."

While Buffalo's Thomas Vanek had his first career hat trick, only Randy Robitaille was able to score for the Senators, who closed out a stretch of 5-of-6 games against Northeast Division foes with four losses.

Murray's move wasn't made to shake up the dressing room, but the Senators didn't appear comfortable against the Sabres, who outshot Ottawa 39-26. Goaltender Ray Emery had to have a solid performance because Buffalo smothered Ottawa.

The Senators didn't come to life until Robitaille scored on the power play at 3:57 of the third with the Sabres up 2-0. He tipped an Andrej Meszaros shot from the point by goalie Ryan Miller. Only 33 seconds later, Clarke MacArthur restored the two-goal lead.

LITTLE TO CHEER

Sure, everybody in the Senators dressing room was excited about the arrival of Commodore and Stillman, but it didn't show in their play. In fact, the way the Senators performed they took the crowd of 19,564 out of the game.

There wasn't a whole lot to get Ottawa fans out of their seats. Commodore got a nice round of applause from the faithful in the second period when he bodychecked MacArthur to the ice.

Earlier, Alfredsson had them chanting his name after he nailed Buffalo centre Jochen Hecht in the Sabres zone.

However, those were the only highlights the Senators had through the first two periods.

"We definitely feed off energy in the rink. There wasn't much energy because we didn't build any either," said Senators centre Jason Spezza. "It just seemed like it wasn't our night.

"They pressed us hard. They played passive and patient. We just didn't play our best. They clogged it up and we weren't our sharpest."

As for Stillman, who had an assist on Robitaille's goal, he played alongside centre Mike Fisher and winger Chris Neil and the line had chances.

There haven't been many nights where Emery has been the difference, but he stood tall until a four-goal third-period onslaught by the Sabres. Through 40 minutes, the Senators were outshot 27-11 and that was indicative of the play.

Vanek opened the scoring at 3:44 of the second on a play that Emery never stood a chance on. Moving down the right side, Vanek fired a bullet by Emery high on the glove side to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.

"We didn't seem to have that same jump," said defenceman Wade Redden. "We wanted to play well. We just have to put this behind us and play better from here."

The Senators travelled to New Jersey immediately after last night's game.

The club will face the Devils tonight at 7 p.m. at the Prudential Center.


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