Ottawa at Buffalo

Peters accuses Ruutu of biting; Sabres extend Senators' road woes


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Jarkko Ruutu added another chapter to the bitter rivalry between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres.

He bit the gloved thumb of Sabres enforcer Andrew Peters during a first-period altercation Tuesday night, overshadowing Buffalo's 4-2 victory.

"It's a pretty goofy thing that happened," Peters said. "It's not the injury, it's the incident. Just the fact that that happened it's unfortunate. It's not good for the game of hockey."

Ruutu denied biting Peters, and instead accused the Sabres player of gouging him in the eye.

"Nothing happened there," Ruutu said. "His fingers were by my mouth but I didn't bite him."

With a bandage wrapped around his right thumb following the game, Peters said Ruutu broke his skin while biting him through the glove. Peters started the skirmish by rubbing his glove into Ruutu's face behind the play. Replays then showed Ruutu using his teeth to tear Peters' glove off his hand.

Peters immediately began shaking his hand and doubled over in pain clutching his thumb before heading to the Buffalo bench where he was attended to by team trainers.

Peters was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for sparking the altercation, while Ruutu was not penalized.

NHL officials did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages left by the Associated Press.

Derek Roy had a goal and two assists and Ryan Miller stopped 31 shots in helping Buffalo to its third consecutive victory.

The Sabres and Senators have been involved in plenty of heated games in the past.

Two years ago, Ottawa's Chris Neil sparked a brawl when he blind-sided former Sabres co-captain Chris Drury. In 2006, Buffalo beat Ottawa in a five-game second-round playoff series, and the Senators knocked out the Sabres in five games the following postseason.

Thomas Vanek, with an empty-netter in the final minute, and Drew Stafford had a goal and assist each, while Matt Ellis also scored for the Sabres, who hung on after nearly squandering a 3-0 lead.

Jason Spezza scored both goals for the Senators only 32 seconds apart in the second period. Spezza had an opportunity to cap the comeback, but was robbed with 4:25 left when his slap shot from the left circle was snagged by Miller.

The Senators dropped to 1-5-1 during an eight-game road trip that ends at Boston on Thursday. Ottawa also dropped to 1-12-3 in its past 16 games away from home.

"It's tough. We're struggling," said Spezza, who has five goals and five assists in his past eight games. "We're in other teams' buildings and things aren't going our way. ... It hasn't been a fun trip."

Ellis' goal, scored 15 seconds in, certainly didn't help, Senators coach Craig Hartsburg said.

"For a team that's obviously fragile right now, that's not the way to start," Hartsburg said.

Except for the second-period letdown, the Sabres were pleased with how they finished. The triumph also allowed them to build off a convincing 4-2 victory Saturday at Boston, in which Buffalo snapped the Bruins' 10-game winning streak.

"Let's hope we can keep stringing these together and getting a good feeling about what it means to play as a team," Miller said.

Miller was relieved after giving up a soft goal to Spezza, who scored his first goal from the right corner by banking in a shot off the goalie's glove. Spezza then cut the lead to 3-2 by beating Miller through the legs on a wide-open breakaway.

Miller made up for it with his glove save in the third period.

"Two's enough for him," Miller said. "It's good to get the win and cap it off with bouncing back after a pretty bad goal."


  • Ottawa, which hasn't played at home since a 5-4 victory against Dallas on Dec. 20, has been on the road because the team's arena was used for the recently concluded World Junior Hockey Championship.
  • Senators are 4-13-3 on the road this season after winning 20 or more in each of their previous five seasons.
  • Ellis' goal was the Sabres' fastest to open a game since Vladimir Tsyplakov scored 10 seconds in at Montreal on Nov. 25, 2000.
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Jason Peters skates away after Jarkko Ruutu (far right) allegedly bites through his glove.  (AP)
Jason Peters skates away after Jarkko Ruutu (far right) allegedly bites through his glove. (AP)
Ottawa (13-19-6)0202
Buffalo  (20-15-5) «2114
Three Stars
D. Roy

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
J. Spezza

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
R. Miller

Saves: 31
Save Pct.: .939

Related Video

Scoring Summary
15.0Matt Ellis (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Gaustad, Spacek
16:01Drew Stafford (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Roy, Vanek
05:29Derek Roy (14), Tip-In, Unassisted.
07:02Jason Spezza (16), Snap Shot. Assist: Alfredsson
07:34Jason Spezza (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Heatley, Alfredsson
19:34Power Play - Thomas Vanek (26), Empty Net. Assist: Stafford, Roy
Penalty Summary
40.0Vermette, 2 min, Tripping
03:10Tallinder, 2 min, Tripping
03:53Heatley, 2 min, Slashing
13:13Peters, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
16:55Mair, 2 min, High-Sticking
01:34Fisher, 2 min, Interference
08:58Ellis, 2 min, Hooking
09:05Spezza, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
08:53Kotalik, 2 min, Hooking
13:33Rivet, 2 min, Roughing
13:33Phillips, 2 min, Roughing
18:18Picard, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
Alex Auld59:17223
Ryan Miller60:00312
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 18443
Referees - Mike Hasenfratz, Frederick L'Ecuyer
Linesmen - Scott Cherrey, Greg Devorski
Other Games
SJ 2 Final
Cal 5
Colu 0 Final
Det 3
LA 1 Final
Ana 3
NJ 2 Final
Car 3
Atl 1 Final
Pitt 3
Colo 2 Final
Nash 1
Phi 1 Final
Wash 2
Min 1 Final
Bos 0
Chi 6 Final
Pho 0
Fla 4 Final
Tor 2