Sabres in Traffic... 2.22.2007 by Nicholas Genau photos by Dellas
Sabres 6, Senators 5
Sabres defeat division rival Ottawa Senators at home in an old-time hockey shootout victory. Vanek scores two goals in 39 seconds following a Drury powerplay tally giving the Sabres a 3-2 lead in the second period after falling behind 2-0. Then the game turned nasty when Senator enforcer Chris Neil delivers a late open-ice hit on Drury, severely cutting the Sabres co-captain and leaving him woozy for a few minutes. Coach Ruff then sends out his own enforcers Mair and Peters, who target Ottawa stars Heatley and Spezza. After five minutes of fighting, with goalies Biron and Emery engaging at center-ice and the two coaches participating in a heated argument with each other, over 100 penalty minutes were handed out, including both goalies being tossed out of the game. As the game continues, Ottawa battles back, capitalizing on a powerplay following the fights. The game tied at 5-5 eventually goes to a shootout, in which Drew Stafford scores the only goal, complementing Miller ís three saves after coming into the game replacing the ejected Biron. Drury did not return after the disputed hit, while the ensuing ejections at one point left the Sabres with only 5 forwards on the bench. The victory increases Buffalo ís lead over the Senators in the Northeast Division to 13 points and their lead over the next best team in the league to three points, and validates the Sabres success and determination that they have shown all season.