OTTAWA -- Apparently, whatever may ill the Buffalo Sabres simply needs a meeting with the Ottawa Senators.
After an abysmal finish to the second period, the Sabres turned the game around with a pair of goals in the third to beat the Sens, 3-2, Tuesday night in Canadian Tire Centre.
Matt Moulson's goal 51 seconds into the final period got Buffalo even and Justin Bailey's tip-in of a Jake McCabe shot at 7:38 of the third put the Sabres ahead. It was Bailey's second goal of the season and second in the NHL. Robin Lehner made 39 saves to improve to 4-0-2 against his old team.
The Sabres improved to 4-0-1 against Ottawa this season and have points in eight straight games against them (6-0-2) for the first time since Ottawa rejoined the NHL in 1992. The Sabres have won three straight here and earned points in five consecutive road games against the Sens for the first time since they won five in a row here in a 19-month span from April, 2010 to November, 2011.
Major comeback: The Senators were 18-1-1 this year when leading after two periods but Buffalo found a way in a situation it's familiar with. The Sabres improved to 7-20-3 this year when trailing after two -- tying them with Pittsburgh and Montreal for the most wins in that spot in the NHL.
Pulling even: The Sabres were trailing, 2-1, and getting outshot, 27-17, through two periods before getting the game tied on Moulson's goal at 51 seconds of the third. Moulson just touched home the puck at the right of the crease as Sam Reinhart plopped the puck over Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson after a rush by Jack Eichel.
Eichel numbers: The second-year Sabres center has 10 points (four goals, six ssists) in seven career games against Ottawa, his most points against any opponent.
Fast start: The Sabres took a lead after just 24 seconds when Ryan O'Reilly one-timed a shot past Anderson after a Kyle Okposo pass. The goal came off a 3-on-2 rush after Justin Falk stopped Ottawa's Zack Smith on a rush just inside the Sabres' line and Okposo went the other way.
Tying tip: The Senators pulled even at 14:45 of the first period on Bobby Ryan's deflection of an Erik Karlsson shot that went through Lehner's legs.
Taking the lead: Ottawa went ahead at 14:33 of the second period as Phaneuf carried the puck most of the way down the ice, passed it to Ryan and went hard to the net. Lehner stopped Ryan's shot but didn't cover the rebound as Phaneuf poked it home.
Tilted ice: The Senators had the final 14 shots on goal of the second period. Eleven of them came in the final 5 1/2 minutes after Phaneuf's goal.
Triple dozen: The goals by O'Reilly, Moulson and Ryan were all their 12th of the season.
Power play: The Sabres entered the game leading the league on the power play but went 0 for 2 and didn't get a shot on goal on either chance. Prior to the game, coach Dan Bylsma admitted there was frustration among his team for getting only one power play during the first 54 minutes of Sunday's loss to Vancouver.
"We should be drawing penalties. We have to do a better job," Bylsma said. "If you want to get a penalty, go out and draw it. Not by diving. But with the way you play, they should have to take penalties against you."
Up next: The Sabres have three games before their bye week and all of them will be at home. The hapless Colorado Avalanche will be in KeyBank Center Thursday night before the St. Louis Blues arrive for a Saturday matinee and the Chicago Blackhawks bring South Buffalo native Patrick Kane to town for his annual visit Sunday afternoon.