OTTAWA — Jacob Josefson's goal was the difference as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Ottawa Senators, 4-3, in a shootout Thursday in Canadian Tire Centre.
Matt Duchene opened the shootout with a goal for the Senators. Sam Reinhart scored in round two for Buffalo. Robin Lehner poke-checked Mike Hoffman to set the stage for Josefson, who burned Craig Anderson with a wrist shot. Lehner, who didn't make a save in a shootout last season, stopped 2 of 3 in this one.
It was the first shootout the Sabres have played since losing to Montreal on opening night, Oct. 5 in KeyBank Center.
Wide open hockey: The Senators outshot Buffalo, 40-34, through the 65 minutes. Nick Baptiste had the best chance in overtime but Craig Anderson stopped him on a breakaway after the Ottawa native burned Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson with a move. Lehner made 37 saves for the Sabres.
Point streaks: The Sabres have points in 11 straight games against the Senators (8-0-3), including all three this year (2-0-1). They also have points in seven straight games in Ottawa (5-0-2), and points in eight of their last nine Atlantic Division games this year (7-1-1).
The look up front: Danny O'Regan made his Buffalo debut after being acquired in the Evander Kane trade from San Jose. He centered Jordan Nolan and Baptiste. Ryan O'Reilly centered Benoit Pouliot and Sam Reinhart, Johan Larsson stayed between Scott Wilson and Jason Pominville while Jacob Josefson was between Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo.
Injury concern: Okposo left early in the second period after a collision at center ice with Ottawa's Bobby Ryan sent both players sprawling after neither saw the other coming. He did not return. Okposo stayed down on the ice and needed trainers to attend to him before skating off slowly. Okposo's season ended last March due to a concussion and he was hospitalized with severe complications from medication in the wake of the injury.
The look at the back: Nathan Beaulieu and Victor Antipin were healthy scratches on defense, with Beaulieu getting that designation for the first time this season. Rasmus Ristolainen and Marco Scandella were together as the No. 1 pair. Josh Gorges played with Casey Nelson while Brendan Guhle skated with Justin Falk.
Back and forth: The Sabres trailed, 3-2, after 40 minutes but quickly got the game even for the second time on Scott Wilson's sixth goal of the season just 26 seconds into the third period. It came on his own rebound after a pass from the corner by Ryan O'Reilly.
Pulling even II: Sam Reinhart tapped in a loose puck at 14:23 of the second to get the Sabres back to 2-2. Reinhart, who assisted on the Wilson goal, has 12 goals and 15 assists in his last 30 games, starting with the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 in New York. He has 17 goals and 38 points for the season.
Double trouble: Ottawa winger Ryan Dzingel scored a pair of goals early in the second period to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. Dzingel scored at 36 seconds on a feed from Matt Duchene after a brutal giveaway in the corner by Falk and tallied again at 3:26 on a neat backhand pass from Mike Hoffman.
Back in front: Ottawa took a 3-2 lead on Thomas Chabot's goal at 17:30 of the second period. It came on a quick snap shot that beat Robin Lehner high to the glove side, as Chabot released it with Wilson in a futile rush to try to catch him from behind.
On the line: The Sabres survived an incredibly close call in the final seconds of the second period as Dzingel put a puck under Lehner to Hoffman, who sent it across the goal line into the empty net — but not over. The puck stopped against the far post, with Lehner and Pouliot combining to fish it out before it went completely over the line.
Opening the scoring: The Sabres played a strong first period and ended it with a 1-0 lead as defenseman Marco Scandella scored the only goal at 17:26, whirling from the point and firing home a long slapshot. It was his fifth of the season, one behind defense partner Ristolainen for the team lead fromm the blueline. Buffalo outshot Ottawa, 15-12, in the period, getting nine shots in a row at one point.
Another Amerks injury: O'Regan made his debut because Seth Griffith suffered an upper-body injury Wednesday against Calgary. Griffith was likely hurt on a hard check from Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic and his status is uncertain. He joins Kyle Criscuolo (shoulder) as key Rochester Amerks on the shelf due to injuries in Buffalo.
Up Next: The Sabres host the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, stunning leaders of the Pacific Division, Saturday at 1 in KeyBank Center. The game is the opener of a six-game homestand that runs through March 23 and also features visits by Toronto, Chicago, Nashville, Arizona and Montreal.