Ottawa at Buffalo

Sabres take shootout after brawl-filled game against Senators

CBS wire reports

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Goaltender Martin Biron couldn't be more proud with how his Buffalo Sabres responded after co-captain Chris Drury was blindsided and knocked woozy by Otttawa's Chris Neil.

First, the Sabres got back at the Senators during a wild second-period melee -- a brawl that involved all 12 skaters on the ice, including Biron taking on Ottawa goalie Ray Emery.

Then, despite a depleted bench, the Sabres won the game 6-5, when Drew Stafford scored the lone shootout goal Thursday night.

"Emotions were running high. ... It didn't matter who was on the ice, anybody would've responded," said Biron, who was ejected along with Emery and Buffalo tough-guy Andrew Peters. "That was really satisfying. And it's satisfying to see the way we played after that."

What incensed the Sabres was seeing Drury, with a deep cut across his forehead, needing help to get up after being bowled over by Neil. It happened five minutes into the second period after Drury had just snapped a shot on net from the right circle. That's when Neil, without slowing, hit him from behind. Neil's shoulder caught Drury across the side of the head, sending Drury flying and his helmet off.

Neil was not penalized for the hit, but Sabres coach Lindy Ruff called it dirty.

The Senators saw things very differently.

Neil described his hit as clean, adding that Drury shouldn't have had his head down.

And Senators coach Bryan Murray was unhappy with how the brawl began, angry how Buffalo's fourth-liner Adam Mair punched Senators star Jason Spezza in the head on the faceoff after Drury was hurt.

"I put out skill players and he sends out the five guys on his team that are going to start a fight," Murray said, referring to Ruff. He then accused the Sabres coach of ordering his players to start the fight.

Ruff's answer to that was: "I'm not going to comment what I had on my mind."

After pausing, Ruff added: "Go out and run 'em."

The game was delayed by about 20 minutes as officials issued 100 penalty minutes, 63 against Buffalo.

As inspiring as the Sabres' victory was, the bad news is that Drury, who scored his team-leading 33rd goal in the first period, might miss a few games because of what was described as a head injury.

That means the Sabres could be down eight regulars when they play at Ottawa on Saturday to complete the eight-game season series between the Northeast Division rivals.

Leave it to Stafford, one of four minor leaguers called up to bolster Buffalo's banged-up roster, to seal a game in which both teams squandered two-goal leads.

After the teams failed on each of their first three shootout attempts, Stafford scored when he faked going to his forehand and flipped a backhander past Martin Gerber.

Ryan Miller then sealed the win when he gloved Mike Fisher's attempt. Miller's best save came a shootout attempt earlier, when he got his blocker out to foil Mike Comrie, who appeared to have the goalie going the wrong way.

Stafford added two assists while Thomas Vanek scored twice, including his 31st of the season. Clarke MacArthur and Dmitri Kalinin also scored in helping the Eastern Conference-leading Sabres (41-15-5) complete their six-game homestand with a 5-0-1 record.

Dany Heatley scored twice and added an assist, while Spezza had a goal and two assists for the Senators, who had a five-game win streak snapped.

"If they want to start something, we've got guys that can handle that and it should be a good one Saturday," Heatley said. "It's fun to play them. They're exciting, emotional games. We've got some guys that we don't like over there. And I'm sure they don't like a lot of our guys over here."

The bad blood almost carried over after the game.

Mair went to the Senators locker room, where he apologized to Heatley in the doorway. Heatley accepted the apology, but Senators assistant coach John Paddock shot Mair an angry glare.

"Don't look at me like that when I'm apologizing," Mair said to Paddock, who then apologized to Mair.


  • The Sabres, who overcame a 2-0 deficit, appeared to take control three minutes into the third period, when Kalinin made it 5-3, converting his own rebound.
  • The Senators rallied when Spezza and Fisher scored goals 2:36 apart, tying it at 5 with nine minutes left.
  • Emery, who allowed three goals on 15 shots, was back after serving a three-game suspension for slashing Montreal's Maxim Lapierre. Biron allowed two goals on 18 shots before he was ejected.
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Tough guy Andrew Peters punches Ottawa goalie Ray Emery. Both end up ejected from the game.  (AP)
Tough guy Andrew Peters punches Ottawa goalie Ray Emery. Both end up ejected from the game. (AP)
Ottawa (35-22-4)21200 (0)5
Buffalo  (41-15-5) «13101 (1)6
Three Stars
D. Stafford

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
T. Vanek

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
D. Heatley

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
11:01Power Play - Daniel Alfredsson (21), Wrist Shot - Assists: Wade Redden, Mike Fisher
12:53Dany Heatley (35), Wrist Shot - Assists: Chris Neil, Jason Spezza
17:43Chris Drury (33), Wrist Shot - Assists: Michael Ryan, Drew Stafford
03:09Power Play - Thomas Vanek (30), Tip-In - Assists: Jason Pominville, Drew Stafford
03:48Thomas Vanek (31), Backhand Shot - Assists: Derek Roy, Teppo Numminen
08:09Power Play - Dany Heatley (36), Snap Shot - Assists: Jason Spezza, Andrej Meszaros
18:23Clarke Macarthur, Snap Shot - Assists: Patrick Kaleta, Brian Campbell
03:21Dmitri Kalinin (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Daniel Briere, Jason Pominville
06:22Power Play - Jason Spezza (23), Slap Shot - Assists: Wade Redden, Dany Heatley
08:58Mike Fisher (14), Snap Shot - Assist: Daniel Alfredsson
Penalty Summary
07:22Macarthur: Hooking - 2 min.
10:00Paetsch: Hooking - 2 min.
18:03Corvo: Holding - 2 min.
01:51Comrie: Tripping - 2 min.
05:07Neil: Fighting - 5 min.
05:07Stafford: Fighting - 5 min.
05:13Phillips: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
05:13Kaleta: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
05:13Volchenkov: Fighting - 5 min.
05:13Biron: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
05:13Biron: Fighting - 5 min.
05:13Biron: Goalie leaving crease. - 2 min.
05:13Mair: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
05:13Mair: Fighting - 5 min.
05:13Mair: Instigator - 2 min.
05:13Peters: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
05:13Peters: Fighting - 5 min.
05:13Peters: Instigator - 2 min.
05:13Peters: Roughing - 2 min.
05:13Emery: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
05:13Emery: Goalie leaving crease. - 2 min.
05:13Emery: Fighting - 5 min.
05:13Emery: Fighting - 5 min.
14:38Fisher: Roughing - 2 min.
14:38Roy: Diving - 2 min.
19:16Volchenkov: Tripping - 2 min.
02:28Spezza: Roughing - 2 min.
02:28Roy: Roughing - 2 min.
04:37Ryan: Hooking - 2 min.
13:16Lydman: Holding - 2 min.
16:42Kelly: Tripping - 2 min.
03:28Briere: Hooking - 2 min.
Ray Emery25:0912300
Martin Gerber39:4515241
Martin Biron25:1316200
Ryan Miller39:4722340
Game Information
Attendance - 18690
Referees - Tim Peel, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - David Brisebois, Jean Morin
Other Games
NJ 3 Final
Phi 2 Final
Car 3
TB 5 Final
Atl 4
Edm 4 Final
Colu 0
Tor 2 Final
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Fla 1
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Nash 5
SJ 2 Final
Chi 0
Cal 2 Final
Pho 3
Min 4 Final
Colo 3
Van 3 Final
LA 2