OTTAWA – Chris Neil scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal in the second period and Craig Anderson made 20 saves as the Ottawa Senators hung on for a 4-3 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Erik Karlsson, Chris Phillips and Daniel Alfredsson scored for Ottawa, and Peter Regin picked up his first points of the season with two assists.
The win snapped a two-game Senators' losing streak as Anderson allowed more than two goals for the first time in nine games this season.
Tyler Ennis, Jordan Leopold and Jason Pominville scored for Buffalo. Jhonas Enroth made the start in place of Ryan Miller and is still searching for his first win in more than a calendar year. He finished with 20 saves for the Sabres, who have dropped three straight.
Buffalo's Thomas Vanek leads the NHL in scoring with 19 points but he was held off the score sheet for the first time in nine games.
Pominville cut Ottawa's lead to 4-3 at 13:55 of a third period that had four total shots up to that points. The Sabres pressed furiously in the dying moments but were unable to put a fourth puck past Anderson.
Buffalo fell behind 4-1 at the 8:12 mark of the second period after Neil's one-timer beat Enroth, but quickly got that goal back with Leopold redirecting a puck past Anderson from the side of the goal.
The Senators jumped out to a 3-1 after the first period. Karlsson opened the scoring at 8:17, just 27 seconds into the game's first power play when his point shot eluded Enroth.
The lead was very short lived though, as Ennis collected a rebound and put a backhand off the far post and in behind Anderson just 21 seconds later.
But Phillips and Alfredsson scored a little more than three minutes apart later in the period to put the home side up 3-1. Phillips took a point shot that dribbled across the goal line after Enroth got a piece of it.
Alfredsson then took a snapshot from the slot off a feed from Mika Zibanejad that beat Enroth cleanly.
Ottawa finished the night 1-for-2 on the power play, while Buffalo was scoreless on four chances.
Notes: Christian Ehrhoff, Matt Ellis and Andrej Sekera were the scratches for the Sabres while Kaspars Daugavins and Sergei Gonchar sat out for the Senators. ... Four players in Tuesday's game were all selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL draft in Ottawa. Cody Hodgson was taken 10th overall, Tyler Myers (12th), Erik Karlsson (15th) and Tyler Ennis (26th).