Sabres fall to Ottawa
Updated: Friday, October 4 2013, 11:57 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Erik Karlsson scored with 1:35 remaining in the third period and Craig Anderson stopped 35 shots in leading the Ottawa Senators to a season-opening 1-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
Former Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur set up the goal to spoil the Sabres’ home opener.
Driving up the left wing, MacArthur slipped a pass through the middle to set up Karlsson alone in the right circle. Karlsson got just enough of the puck to direct it toward the net and under goalie Ryan Miller’s legs.
Miller had a solid outing despite the loss in stopping 45 shots.
Karlsson’s goal came a half-minute after Anderson made a huge glove save at the other end, stopping rookie Zemgus Girgensons’ shot from the high slot.
The Senators won in opening a season for the first time since 1995 without former captain Daniel Alfredsson, who left Ottawa to sign with Detroit in free agency in July.
Ottawa improved to 8-2-4 when opening a season on the road, and 10-4-5-1 overall.
The Sabres fell to 0-2, following a 2-1 season-opening loss at Detroit on Wednesday.
Both goalies put on a clinic in stopping a combined 58 shots through two periods.
Miller was the busiest, and made the most acrobatic save in the waning seconds of the second period.
Senators newcomer Bobby Ryan faked a shot from the left boards and deftly slid a pass into the middle, where Jason Spezza redirected the puck toward the net. Miller anticipated the play and lunged out from his crease to make a diving glove save.
Anderson was sharp in the Senators net in earning his 23rd career shutout.
With 3:15 minutes left in the second period, he got across to stop Thomas Vanek’s one-timer from the left circle. Midway through the first period, Anderson stopped Brian Flynn’s initial shot from the right boards, and then got back in position to foil Mikhail Grigorenko’s backhand from in close.
Vanek had an even better opportunity 3 minutes into the third period, when he broke in alone from the left wing. Karlsson, however, broke up the chance with a diving poke check, slapping the puck off of Vanek’s stick.
And Vanek had yet another chance 8 minutes into the third, when he was set up by Drew Stafford on a 2-on-1 break in the left circle, only to have Anderson get across to make the save.
The Sabres’ power play continued its popgun ways dating to last season, when Buffalo finished 29th in the NHL by converting just 23 of 178 opportunities. After going 0 for 7 against Detroit on Wednesday, the Sabres went 0 for 4 against Ottawa.