Dany Heatley had three goals and an assist to lead the Senators to a 6-3 win over the Sabres Wednesday night. It was the fourth time this season the Senators (22-18-2) have beaten the Sabres (29-8-3). Buffalo lost for just the eighth time in regulation. Tom Preissing Peter Schaefer and Wade Redden also scored for the Senators who are now 5-0-1 since centre Jason Spezza was knocked out of the lineup with a knee injury.
“It feels great to be winning,” Redden said. “We’re on a bit of a streak and we’re doing things right out there and that’s the reason why we’re winning. “For what ever reason we’ve had some good success against (the Sabres) and I think it’s because you do respect them and what they can do. You have to be good against them or you’re going to be in trouble.”
Mike Comrie, who was acquired in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes earlier in the day, had two assists as Ottawa played in front of a sellout crowd of 19,777 at Scotiabank Place.
“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to play with these guys and it was exciting to get a big win against one of the top teams,” Comrie said.
“When you’re a kid growing up you always have the dream of winning a Stanley Cup, so I’m looking forward to trying to do that here.”
The game capped an eventful day for Comrie.
“It was a weird day,” Comrie said. “I woke up in Washington and had a phone call in my hotel room from (Phoenix general manager) Mike Barnett and (Phoenix head coach) Wayne Gretzky, flew to Toronto had a pre-game sandwich on the flight and then I was in the lineup.”
Paul Gaustad Maxim Afinogenov and Jason Pominville scored for the Sabres. Gaustad’s goal came at 4:55 of the third period, ending Ray Emery’s bid at a third shutout in his past five games.
The Sabres outshot the Senators 19-7 in the scoreless first period but were unable to get anything past Emery. It was a different story in the second period, as the Senators scored four times to take control of the game and outshot the Sabres 17-8.
“We came out a little flat and they took it to us but Razor held us in and made some big saves,” said Heatley.
“We kind of woke up in the second and got on their D a little better and kind of took control of the game from there.”
Heatley scored the first of his three goals while the Senators were short-handed after winning a battle for the puck against Sabres defenceman Brian Campbell. The puck bounced up as the two players battled, and Heatley hit it out of midair and over the shoulder of Sabres netminder Ryan Miller.
Heatley scored his next goal at even strength when he converted a rebound just moments after Senators defenceman Wade Redden was stoned point-blank in front of Miller.
Heatley fed Preissing in front of the net on a power play for the Senators third goal, and then he completed the hat trick a with a power-play goal of his own. After Redden hit the post with a point shot, Heatley put the rebound into the Buffalo goal.
“I haven’t scored in a few games and our power play moved it around pretty nice and got a few chances.” Heatley said.
Schaefer responded with a breakaway goal less than two minutes after Gaustad ended Emery’s shutout bid.
Redden and Afinogenov traded power play goals late in the game, and Pominville closed out the scoring in the final minute.
The Sabres went one-for-five on the power play while the Senators, along with their short-handed marker, were three-for-four with the man advantage.
“We didn’t do a good enough job to win the game on special teams,” said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff.
“We weren’t very good with the puck. We made some bad decisions and we gave them a breakaway trying to put the puck in an area that was a little too tight. I think we did have some frustration and that showed in our play. Then that frustration led to being careless.”
Notes: Sabres defenceman Henrik Tallinder left late in the second period with an injury to his right leg and didn’t return. . . . The Senators continue their season-long five-game homestand Saturday when they host the New Jersey Devils. The Sabres next play Friday when they host Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.