Senators hit new heights

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

BUFFALO -- The Senators' record-setting run has reached a perfect 10.

Despite a couple of bumps in the road and a faulty camera that may have cost the home team a goal Wednesday night, Daniel Alfredsson's third-period winner led the Senators to a franchise-record 10th straight win -- a 4-2 decision over the Sabres.

It was the Senators' eighth straight win over Sabres. Ottawa hasn't lost to Buffalo since Jan. 6 last year.

Alfredsson, who scored his second goal of the game into an empty net, put home the winner with a minute left to move for the Senators within three points of Buffalo for top spot in the Northeast. The Sabres have two games in hand.

"It's great to get the win," said Alfredsson, who took a perfect pass from defenceman Erik Karlsson to deposit the winner into an open net. "They're all hard, but definitely Buffalo played a really good game. I don't think we were really ready for the pressure they were putting on us.

"(The winning streak against the Sabres) is just the way it goes. I don't know if it's a mental thing. We're just playing with good consistency."

Jason Spezza scored twice as the Senators hung on for dear life after blowing a 2-0 third-period lead.

As this roll continues, the Senators are rewriting their record book:

* Spezza, who opened the scoring at 13:38 of the second period, set a club record by scoring in his seventh straight game. That beat the previous franchise mark of six, accomplished on three occasions -- the last time by Dany Heatley in 2007.

* Not only did the club tie a franchise record of six straight road wins set in 2002-03, goalie Brian Elliott's eighth straight win tied a record he set late last season.

It looked like it was going to be smooth sailing after Spezza gave the Senators a 2-0 lead, beating Sabres goalie Ryan Miller glove side from a bad angle down low.

Spezza has been very good good since returning from a knee injury that kept him out a month.

"I've felt better since I've come back," said Spezza. "It's going well for me and the team. It's definitely a good feeling."

Buffalo got up off the mat with two goals in 27 seconds. First, Andrej Sekera broke Elliott's bid for shutout at 7:17 to make it 2-1, then Tim Connolly's 14th of the season at 7:44 tied it up and made the third period interesting.

"They came at us and we kind of lost our focus for about 30 seconds," said Elliott, who was outstanding, making 34 saves. "We bent, but we didn't break. It was huge to get that goal with a minute to go. We get out of here with two points and they get nothing. Stealing one or not, it's good to see we can still win games."

Goal or no goal?

There was a lot of head-scratching in the press box after the Sabres had an apparent goal called back with 9:51 left in the first. Ottawa defenceman Chris Phillips swept a shot by Jochen Hecht out of the crease. It appeared the puck may have crossed the line behind Elliott.

While neither of the officials -- Steve Kozari nor Brad Watson -- ruled the puck crossed the line, the war room in Toronto looked at it during a TV timeout.

They had no HD angles because the camera wasn't working. There was only a analog shot that wasn't clear and as a result was inconclusive. That left league officials asking why the cameras weren't operable because often that's the most conclusive angle.

Inching closer to the Sabres in the standings is big.

"We're trying to move up in the standings, but we're just trying to put wins together," said Senators coach Cory Clouston. "We've got a tough challenge ahead of us, but we're just trying to win games."

The Senators return home to face the Canucks tonight at 7:30.


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