Series (Game 1 of 5)

Ottawa leads 4-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 16th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 10th
Game 3: Thursday, December 26th
Game 4: Saturday, January 4th
Game 5: Saturday, January 25th

Sabres 1

(3-11-0, 9 pts)

Senators 4

(8-6-0, 17 pts)

7:00 PM ET, November 16, 2002

Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
BUF 1 0 01
OTT 0 2 24

Top Skaters

Buffalo: C. Gratton - 1 G, 3 SOG, Even

Ottawa: T. White - 2 G, 2 SOG, +2

Reeling Sabres lose sixth straight

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

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press