Peter Schaefer and Dany Heatley each had a goal and an assist, and Ray Emery made 23 saves as the Senators defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 Saturday night.
Antoine Vermette and Chris Phillips also scored for the Senators (8-11-1), who have two come-from-behind wins over the Sabres (16-3-1) in the past four days.
“We haven’t exactly been playing great and we’re not where we want to be in the standings so it’s a huge win, but now we just have to regroup and get ready for the next one,” said Schaefer.
For the Sabres, it was their first road loss after setting a record 10-game road winning streak to start the season.
Maxim Afinogenov scored late in the first period for Sabres, who have all three of their regulation losses in their past five games.
“We’ve been struggling so it was nice to get the win,” said Phillips.
“You don’t want to say those four-point games are important in November, but they really are. Division games are huge and if we can win those we can climb up faster (in the standings).”
Three third-period goals were the difference as the Senators dominated the Sabres over the final two periods. Trailing 11-9 in shots after 20 minutes, the Senators held a 32-13 edge over the final two periods.
“The second period for us has not been good at all so we definitely wanted to change that,” said Senators centre Mike Fisher.
“We talked about it and we came out strong. We gave up that goal late in the first which was kind of a bad bounce, but we came out from there and just played our game. We skated hard, hit hard, we all game together and it started with great goaltending.”
Heatley broke a 1-1 tie 1:22 into the third period with the Senators second power play of the game. They finished 2-for-9 with the man advantage, while the Sabres went 0-5.
Vermette gave the Senators a 3-1 lead at 14:50 and Phillips closed out the scoring as he took a pass from Heatley after stepping out of the penalty box and beat Miller high on a breakaway with just under three minutes to play.
“I’ve been in the penalty box enough this year that I was due for one of those,” said Phillips. “Heater made a great pass, I had lots of time and was thinking shot the whole way and I got in there and got lucky.”
Ryan Miller, playing his first game after missing five with a muscle strain, made 37 saves and was named the game’s third star in front of 19,770 fans at Scotiabank Place.
“The second period is kind of where we needed to answer the bell and if kept moving like we did in the first I think it might have been a different game,” said Miller.
It looked as the first period was going to end in a 0-0 tie, but after winning a faceoff against Chris Drury, Vermette but he swatted the puck with his glove into the slot where Afinogenov fired one-timer past Emery just as time expired.
The only goal of the second period came on the power play as Schaefer popped a rebound over Miller’s shoulder at 5:11.
Notes: The Sabres called up Michael Funk and sent Mike Card back to the Rochester Americans of the AHL following Friday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Funk had missed two games with a groin injury before returning to the Amerks lineup Friday … The Senators return to action Monday night when the host the Minnesota Wild.