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Senators' Lalime stops 36 shots

OTTAWA (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators are paying for sluggish
starts.

The Senators started slowly for the second straight game and
needed Daniel Alfredsson's power-play goal midway through the
second period to forge a 1-1 tie with the Buffalo Sabres on
Saturday night.

James Patrick scored four minutes into the second period for
Buffalo. Alfredsson got his team-leading sixth goal of the season
approximately eight minutes later to force the tie.

Patrick Lalime stopped 36 shots for the Senators, while
Buffalo's Martin Biron finished with 34 saves as the teams played
to a tie for the first time since December 1999.

"I think early in the game we lacked intensity," Senators
defenseman Zdeno Chara said. "We didn't come out with our 'A'
game, and we kind of waited for them."

Both teams created a number of scoring chances in the first
period, but neither was able to finish.

"It was kind of a funny game," Senators coach Jacques Martin
said. "The first period was pretty even play. They were all over
us in the start of the second and then it was us all over them, and
in the third there were good opportunities on both sides."

The Sabres opened the scoring at 3:55 of the second period.
Buffalo had a three-on-one and forced Lalime to make three big
saves before Patrick beat him with a shot over the shoulder.

Radek Bonk, who extended his point streak to nine games, passed
the puck to Zdeno Chara, who in turn fed Alfredsson, who tied the
score at 11:27 of the second.

The Senators failed to convert several good chances against
Biron in the period, and were unable to capitalize on a 40-second,
two-man advantage later in the game.

"We feel great coming out of here with one point," Biron said.
"This is a team that gave us struggles last year."

While the Senators were disappointed with their performance, the
Sabres were more than satisfied with getting a point.

"I'm ecstatic. I think our team played great," Sabres coach
Lindy Ruff said. "We had them on the ropes and the only real
momentum they got was off their power play. This was a good test
for us and we answered the bell."

Game Notes: The Senators' best scoring chance in the first period came
at the 11-minute mark, but Biron stopped a backhand shot by
Alfredsson. ... Buffalo had won four of its last five entering the
game. ... The Sabres won just once in five games against Eastern
Conference champion Ottawa last season. ... The Senators entered
the game averaging a league-leading 3.75 goals against.