Sabres smoke Senators


OTTAWA – Tim Connolly scored two goals and had an assist to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

The win allowed Buffalo to get within six points of Ottawa for the Northeast Division lead. Buffalo has four games left to play while the Senators have five.

The Senators have lost three straight games for the first time all season.

Chris Drury, Taylor Pyatt, Jay McKee and Dmitri Kalinin also scored for the Sabres.

Patrick Eaves and Daniel Alfredsson scored for the Senators (50-19-8), who let up six goals for the first time this season. Ray Emery started the game in goal, but was pulled after allowing four goals on 22 shots. Mike Morrison allowed the other two goals.

The Sabres (48-24-6) opened the scoring 77 seconds into the first period as Drury collected a rebound and beat Emery through the legs.

Eaves picked up his 19th of the season on the power play to tie the game, but just over a minute later Connolly regained the lead for Buffalo.

The Sabres dominated the second period, scoring three goals to chase Emery from the game.

Pyatt made it 3-1 at the 3-minute mark of the period beating Emery, who was making his 21st straight start, high glove side. McKee’s goal just over three minutes later ended Emery’s night.

Morrison came on in relief, marking his second appearance in a Senators uniform since being picked up off waivers from Edmonton at the trade deadline.

Jason Spezza scored his 41st goal to cut the deficit to 4-2 before Kalinin and Connolly closed out the scoring.

With the loss the Senators wrapped up its season series against the Sabres with a 5-1-2 record.

Notes: The Senators were without D Wade Redden (personal reasons), RW Martin Havlat (shoulder), D Zdeno Chara (hand) D Chris Phillips (left knee sprain) and G Dominik Hasek (adductor muscle) RW Brian McGrattan was a healthy scratch. … Buffalo was without C Adam Mair (concussion), C Jochen Hecht (knee), D Teppo Numminen (knee) and LW Andrew Peters was a healthy scratch.

AP-ES-04-08-06 2227EDT