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Reeling Sabres lose sixth straight

11/16/2002

OTTAWA (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators were scoring more power-play
goals than even-strength markers until they faced the struggling
Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Todd White scored twice as the Senators stretched the Buffalo
Sabres' winless streak to 11 games with a 4-1 victory.

"Confidence is a big part of scoring, but so is executing,''
said Ottawa coach Jacques Martin, after watching his club improve to
8-6-1.

"All of our goals tonight, we had someone at the net with the
defense coming in. Doing those little things give you the chance to
win. We're still out of the playoffs now and we have to win our
games.''

The loss was the sixth in a row for the struggling Sabres, while
the Senators have won three straight for the second time this
season.

The Sabres got on the scoreboard early when Chris Gratton fired
a shot from the bottom of the circle that beat Senators goalie
Patrick Lalime at 17:06 the first period.

Both teams missed opportunities in the opening 20 minutes. Tim
Connolly hit the post behind Lalime during a Buffalo power play.
Minutes later, Adam Mair had an open net with Lalime out of
position after he just made a save, but the puck bounced over his
stick.

"It was a bad first period,'' White said. "They played
(Friday) and you think we'd like to jump on them but we didn't. We
played much better in the second period though.''

Ottawa sniper Marian Hossa had a breakaway in the first period
and was able to beat Martin Biron in the Buffalo goal but he
couldn't get his shot in the net as it hit both posts. The puck was
then cleared away by the Sabres defense.

Mike Fisher and White both scored for Ottawa in the second
period, making it 2-1 after 40 minutes.

Hossa wouldn't be denied at 7:33 of the third period when he
took advantage of beautiful setup from Zdeno Chara to put the
Senators up 3-1.

White scored his second goal of the game less than 2 minutes
later to give the Senators a three-goal cushion.

"As the game went along, the Senators came on stronger,''
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "After they made it 3-1 we had to
try open it up and take some chances. That didn't work.''

The Sabres now are one game away from setting franchise records
for futility. A loss in New Jersey on Tuesday would tie records for
losing and winless streaks.

"We've had years where we haven't made the playoffs, but we've
never had a stretch like this,'' Rob Ray said.

The Sabres have yet to win a game this season when they allow
more than one goal.

Game notes
Wade Redden (hip flexor) and Petr Schastlivy (groin) both
returned to action for Ottawa after missing three and five games,
respectively. ... Senators placed forward Dennis Bonvie on waivers.