|Buffalo Sabres' Tim Connolly takes a second period shot as Ottawa Senators' Colin Greening closes in. (REUTERS/Doug Benz)
BUFFALO -- You can bet Toronto Maple Leaf fans aren't too happy with Craig Anderson ... or the Senators.
Sure, the Senators goalie was bound to have a stinker sooner or later, but his effort in a 6-4 loss to the Sabres at HSBC Arena Sunday slowed down the Leafs' playoff hopes, with Buffalo grabbing an important two points.
While Anderson, who allowed four goals on 17 shots before being yanked, wasn't all to blame, he didn't look good as Jason Spezza's four-point effort was spoiled. Colin Greening and Erik Karlsson also scored for the Senators, whose three-game road winning streak was halted.
Anderson said the Senators had to be better as a team.
"It's one of those nights where you don't play your best as a group or as an individual," said Anderson. "Everybody can look at themselves and say they could have been better."
With a win, the Senators could have pulled ahead of Colorado for 28th spot in the overall standings.
A two-goal effort by Tyler Ennis, along with goals by Thomas Vanek, Brad Boyes, Paul Gaustad and Nathan Gerbe, allowed Buffalo to pull six points ahead of the Leafs for the final playoff spot.
Spezza said he was disappointed the Senators couldn't win all four on the trip.
"It just seemed like when we gave them quality chances, they put them in," said Spezza. "It's one of those games you leave behind. It's a 3-1 road trip. You have to try to build off it."
Curtis McElhinney came on in relief of Anderson early in the second.
Spezza was surprised he didn't score on a 5-on-3 late in the second when his shot hit the crossbar and landed in the back of Jhonas Enroth's pants.
"I was pretty sure that one went in," said Spezza. "Sometimes they don't. Sometimes they do. It would have been a big goal at that time of the game."
The final straw for coach Cory Clouston was a power-play goal by Gaustad. Less than a minute earlier, Ennis had given the Sabres a 3-2 lead by beating Anderson from a bad angle down low.
"He wasn't quite as sharp as he has been and we needed to try and change the momentum," said Clouston. "We had at least three or four really good chances to make it 4-4."
The Senators host Pittsburgh Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. to open a three-game homestand.