'We're fighting for our lives'

Senators' Ryan Shannon celebrates Nick Foligno's second goal of the game against Buffalo Sabres...

Senators' Ryan Shannon celebrates Nick Foligno's second goal of the game against Buffalo Sabres goalie Patrick Lalime during the third period last night at Scotiabank Place. The Senators downed the Sabres 6-3. (Andre Forget, Sun Media)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:08 AM ET

Don't tell the Senators they don't have much of a chance of making the playoffs.

They won't give up on what so far has been a disappointing season.

While making life miserable for former teammate Patrick Lalime, whose start last night was his first at Scotiabank Place since his playoff meltdown against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the spring of 2004, the Senators skated past the Buffalo Sabres, 6-3.

Captain Daniel Alfredsson and Nick Foligno each scored twice for the Senators while Chris Campoli and Chris Kelly had a goal each.

While the Sabres struck for three power-play goals, it wasn't enough to stop the Senators from picking up their second straight victory.

"It was huge," said Foligno. "We're fighting for our lives. They're obviously in a better position than we are, but it was good to get that win.

"We played great and we came at them right from the drop of the puck. We showed a lot of character. We just have to keep it going."

"It was nice to see. We had contributions from different guys," said Senators coach Cory Clouston. "A lot of guys contributed in different ways. It was just a solid game. We played really well."

This was actually a close game until the Senators burst out in the third.

Campoli scored what turned out to be the winner at 9:35 of the third. Alfredsson and Foligno made the night just a little more humiliating for the Sabres.

"That's a hard-fought win, for sure," said Campoli. "They're a good team and they're battling. We knew they were going to come out hard and they did what we expected."

How bad has this season been? It's the first time since March 7, 1998 it has taken the Senators this deep into the season to get their 25th win.

The Senators were forced to finish the game without rugged defenceman Jason Smith, who suffered what appeared to be a knee/leg injury in the first period when he was bumped by a Buffalo player along the boards. The club described it as a lower body injury.

You have to wonder if the Senators are doing Brian Elliott any good having him mind the store until newcomer Pascal Leclaire is able to return next season. Jochen Hecht's goal to tie it up at 8:16 of the third was terrible as Elliott didn't give himself a chance to make the save.

SHAKY GOALTENDING

Neither team received an exceptional goaltending performance. Looking shaky most of the night, Lalime didn't look good when Foligno gave the Senators a 3-2 lead going into the third, moments after the Sabres had tied it up on the power play. Taking a pass from Mike Fisher, Foligno deposited the puck through Lalime's five-hole at 19:28. Only 1:13 earlier, Elliott looked bad as Tomas Vanek beat him on the glove side.

"Every time we came back and tied it up, we gave up a goal the next shift. It broke the momentum a bit and gave them momentum," said Lalime, who evaluated himself: "You can always improve and always be better."

Alfredsson's 350th goal of his NHL career opened the scoring in the first. From the circle, he fired a shot that beat Lalime on the stick side at 4:44.

"The second and third we played really well," said Alfredsson. "The key is to get traffic in front and we did a good job of that."

The Senators will face the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow at home.


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