Senators win ninth straight over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and assist each, Brian Elliott made 41 saves, and the Ottawa Senators beat the Buffalo Sabres for the ninth straight time, 4-2 on Friday night.

Chris Kelly and Peter Regin also scored to help the Senators win their third straight after a five-game losing streak.

The win pulled the Senators, 25-6-4 against the Sabres since the lockout, within five points of first place Buffalo in the Northeast Division. The Sabres, though, have two games in hand.

Tim Kennedy and Jason Pominville scored, and Ryan Miller made 26 saves for Buffalo, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.

The Senators were without third-leading scorer Alex Kovalev, who missed his first game because of a lower-body injury, and leading goal scorer Milan Michalek, who has a leg injury that has forced him to miss four games.

They then lost second-leading scorer Mike Fisher when he received a 5-minute boarding penalty and game misconduct with 4:28 to go in the first after he shoved Buffalo agitator Patrick Kaleta from behind and into the end boards.

But the Sabres were unable to score during that elongated power play, which was partly offset when Buffalo center Tim Connolly received a slashing penalty.

Down 3-1 after two periods, the Sabres cut the deficit when Pominville wristed a shot over Elliott's left shoulder from the left circle for his 22nd 1:34 into the third.

Alfredsson iced it with an empty-net goal with a second to go.

Ottawa struck first when Kelly was able to slide the puck under Miller before the net was dislodged for his 15th of the season at 6:42 of the first. The goal was upheld after a brief video review.

The Senators stretched their lead to 2-0 5½ minutes into the second period when Regin netted his 11th with a wicked wrist shot from the right faceoff dot that zipped by Miller.

The Sabres cut the lead to 2-1 5:16 later when Paul Gaustad's pass from beneath the goal line banked in off Kennedy's skate.

The goal snapped Elliott's shutout sequence at 174 minutes, 35 seconds.

Spezza made it 3-1 on the power play with his 20th when he deflected Alfredsson's one-timer from the top of the left circle with 5:57 to go in the second.

NOTES: Buffalo LW Raffi Torres missed his fourth straight game with a wrist injury. ... Current Sabres backup goalie Patrick Lalime holds the Senators franchise record for longest shutout sequence. He blanked his opponents for 184 minutes, 6 seconds in January 2003. ... Elliott improved to 8-0-0 lifetime against the Sabres. ... Sabres D Tyler Myers had his five-game points streak snapped. ... Alfredsson extended his points streak to six games.