Hoffman scores in OT as Senators rally past Sabres, 3-2
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Mike Hoffman joked with Robin Lehner earlier in the day that he was going to get a goal against his former teammate.
Hours later Hoffman did just that, scoring 1:13 into overtime Thursday night to give the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Hoffman took a cross-ice pass from Erik Karlsson and beat Lehner with a one-timer from the left side to end Ottawa’s two-game skid.
“We were fortunate enough to catch them in a middle of a change and Karlsson made a great play and I just tried to hit the net,” Hoffman said. “The ice is a little choppy in overtime and you never try to put one in the top corner, it’s more so just getting the puck on net and that’s what I tried to do.”
Marian Gaborik and Derick Brassard also scored for the Senators, who rallied after trailing twice in the third period. Craig Anderson made 23 saves.
Scott Wilson and Evan Rodrigues scored in regulation for the Sabres, and Lehner finished with 33 saves to fall to 5-0-3 against his former team.
“He played terrific and he always seems to bring his best against Ottawa,” Sabres forward Kyle Okposo said of Lehner. “It wasn’t a clean game and I thought our effort was sporadic. I thought in the second period they absolutely dominated us. We’ve got to better.′
Brassard sent the game to overtime after tying the score 2-2 with 30.9 seconds left in regulation.
“We got exactly what we deserved. The compete, the battles, (Ottawa) won the majority of them and even though we somehow found a way to get a 2-1 lead, we’ve played much better than that in the last three or four games,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said.
“It’s a good learning lesson for our guys that you have to come to play and prepare and compete every night.”
Gaborik, making his Senators debut after being acquired from Los Angeles on Tuesday night, tied it 1-1 when he tipped a point shot from Karlsson past Lehner at 5:15 of the third.
“I felt good right from the get go. Got use to some systems and some basic rules of thumb and I think it worked out pretty well,” said Gaborik, who also had an assist. “We battled right to the end and I think their goalie held them in there. Happy to get going on a winning note.”
Rodrigues put Buffalo back ahead with 4 1/2 minutes left as he took a pass from Kyle Okposo and beat Anderson off the post and in for his fourth of the season.
Earlier in the third, the Sabres had their best offensive pressure of the game during a power play when they kept the puck in the Senators end for the entire two minutes. Kyle Okposo and Ryan O’Reilly both hit the post with shots, but that was as close as Buffalo got during the advantage.
The Senators outshot the Sabres 22-12 over the first two periods and had four power plays to just one for the Sabres, but the only goal came 6:31 into the game as Wilson took a shot from the faceoff circle that beat Anderson on the short side. The puck was lobbed into the Senators end before being bobbled by the defensive pairing of Mark Borowiecki and Thomas Chabot and ended up on Wilson’s stick.
NOTES: Nick Shore also made his Senators debut after coming over with Gaborik in the deal the sent Dion Phaneuf and Nate Thompson to the Kings. ... Alexandre Burrows and Frederik Claesson sat out for the Senators. Burrows was serving the fourth game of a 10-game suspension for kneeing Taylor hall of the New Jersey Devils in the head. ... Jack Eichel, Jordan Nolan and Justin Falk were scratched by the Sabres. ... Buffalo has points in 10 straight games (7-0-3) against the Senators.
Sabres: Host Lost Angeles on Saturday.
Senators: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday.