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Sabres defeat Senators after lengthy shootout

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It took 65 minutes plus 10 rounds of a shootout, but the Sabres eventually came out on top with a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

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The Sabres didn’t get the start they wanted, however, as the Senators would start the scoring merely 6:25 into the opening period on a goal by Milan Michalek. After an inaccurate pass by Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers in the Senators zone found its way out into the neutral zone, Michalek broke back in the other direction on a 2-on-1 with teammate Cory Conacher. Michalek then sent a short pass to Conacher on his right just before center ice, who then skated into the Sabres zone on the right wing with Henrik Tallinder as the lone Sabres player back on defense. Conacher then skated to the top of the right faceoff circle before sending a pass back to Michalek in the high slot in front of the Sabres net. Michalek then one-timed a shot that beat Ryan Miller to give the Senators a 1-0 lead.

The Sabres were eventually able to even the score on a goal by Zemgus Girgensons 13:15 into the second period. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff skated into the Senators zone and fired a quick shot from just inside the blue line right on net that Senators goalie Robin Lehner made a save on, kicking a rebound out to the bottom of the left faceoff circle. Girgensons then beat Senators defenseman Joe Corvo to the puck and chipped a shot on net that handcuffed Lehner and found its way into the net to tie the game at one apiece.

The Sabres thought they took the lead only 2:15 later after Senators captain Jason Spezza accidentally put the puck into his own net, but there was a delayed high sticking penalty coming up to Spezza and officials ruled that Spezza controlled the puck in tapping it past Robin Lehner, calling the play dead and cancelling out the goal.

The game would eventually go to overtime with the score even at 1-1. Overtime however would not determine a winner, and the game would go into a shootout.

The shootout would end up being a lengthy one, with Ryan Miller eventually following up a Zemgus Girgensons goal with a save in the 10th round to secure the victory.

Matt Moulson, Brian Flynn, and Steve Ott would also score in the shootout for the Sabres, with Mika Zibanejad, Kyle Turris, and Milan Michalek getting the Senators goals.

Ryan Miller and Robin Lehner both made 35 saves on 36 shots through regulation and overtime, with Miller then stopping seven of the 10 Ottawa shooters in the shootout to earn the victory.

With the win, Miller is now 6-16-0 on the season with a .920 save percentage and a 2.95 goals against average.

The Sabres now move to 7-22-2 on the season after the first 31 games of the season, and still remain in last place in the entire NHL with 16 total points in the standings.

The Sabres will now travel to Ottawa for the second game of a home-and-home with the Senators on Thursday, Dec. 12. The game is set to start at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.

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