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Ennis nets hat trick in Sabres’ victory

OTTAWA – Tyler Ennis scored three goals and assisted on another as the Buffalo Sabres’ top line clicked in a 6-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night before 16,738 at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Rookie Jack Eichel assisted on two of the Ennis goals, and Ennis helped on Evander Kane’s first period tally. Buffalo erased a 2-0 deficit to go 3-1 in preseason and win its second in two nights.

Ennis, Eichel and Kane combined for 11 shots on net against Ottawa’s Craig Anderson (25 saves). Chad Johnson played the entire game for Buffalo and stopped 30 of 34 shots.

Goals by Mark Stone and Marc Methot got the Senators off to a 2-0 lead, but the Sabres responded quickly. Ennis scored his first of the preseason with an assist from Eichel at 8:26, only 50 seconds after Methot had made it 2-0 on a long slapshot. Kane tied it at 12:57. Buffalo took the lead for good at 15:49 when Zemgus Girgensons snapped off a shot from 11 feet with Jake McCabe and Jason Akeson assisting.

After a giveaway by Eric O’Dell of the Senators in the offensive zone, Eichel and Ennis hooked up again on the goal that made it 4-2 with 7:06 left in the second period. However, with 58 seconds left in the period Ottawa got a goal from Paul Nicholas with one of the assists going to old Sabres adversary Chris Neil. Buffalo had a 22-20 shots advantage after two periods.

Ennis’ third goal was unassisted after a turnover by Fredrik Claesson with 6:19 left in the third and made it 5-3.

Bobby Ryan scored a power-play goal for Ottawa with 5:48 left, Johan Larsson matched that for Buffalo with a short-handed empty-net goal with 11 seconds left after Jamie McGinn received a kneeing penalty with 52 seconds to go.

Among the Sabres scratches were: Marcus Foligno, Brian Gionta, Matt Moulson, Ryan O’Reilly, Mike Weber, Mark Pysyk and goalie Robin Lehner.

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