HSBC Arena — Buffalo, N.Y.
Daniel Alfredsson (F, OTT) — 3 goals
Tim Connolly (F, BUF) — 2 goals
Sergei Gonchar (D, OTT) — 2 assists, 4 blocked shots
Daniel Alfredsson reached a big hockey milestone in style, notching his 998th, 999th and 1,000th career NHL points with a hat trick on Friday night in Buffalo.
The Ottawa captain sealed a 4-2 win with an empty netter in the final seconds to become the 75th man in league history to hit quadruple digits.
The 76th could be teammate Alex Kovalev, who's still stuck on 991 points after being held off the sheet again Friday.
Next in the 37-year-old Alfredsson's sights on the all-time scoring list are a clump of retired players — most immediately Brian Propp (1,004 points), Lanny McDonald (1,006), Steve Larmer (1,012) and former Sabre Pat Lafontaine (1,013).
But as any team-sport athlete will say (at least into the microphones) it's all about getting the "W," and Alfredsson sent the only NHL club he's ever known toward its second win of the young season when he potted the go-ahead goal midway through the second period to make it 3-2.
Streaking in on goalie Ryan Miller, Alfredsson took a shot that well-meaning Sabres grinder Cody McCormick tried to block with a diving effort. But the puck appeared to hit McCormick's stick before beating Miller up high.
Alfredsson, who had opened the scoring with a tip-in during a first-period power play, shovelled his hat trick-completing 1,000th point into the net from the neutral zone with 22 seconds left in his 1,009th NHL game.
The Sabres were short-handed at the time after defenceman Steve Montador took a desperation interference penalty that effectively killed any chance of a Buffalo comeback.
"It's a big milestone, but it hasn't been on my mind at all with the struggles we've been going through," said Alfredsson, who has scored 41 of his 379 goals against the Sabres. "I got a bit lucky today, but it feels great to get the 1,000 points and win at the same time."
Tim Connolly scored both Buffalo goals, tying the game each time he beat Ottawa goalie Brian Elliott, who hung on to improve his record to 9-0-0 lifetime against the Sabres.
In this battle of struggling Northeast Division foes, someone's dry spell had to end, and it was Ottawa's. The Senators (2-4-1) picked up their first road victory of the season by beating a Buffalo team (2-5-1) that has yet to win at home.
Ottawa always seems to give the Sabres trouble. Though Buffalo won its season-opening matchup in the Canadian capital, the Senators have now won five straight and nine of 10 in Western New York, and are 26-8-4 overall against the Sabres since the lockout.
"Sometimes it's more of a chess match against a team like that," said Miller, who made 28 saves. "They won't give you a lot. You have to be willing to play a whole different game."
My, oh, Myers
Talk about a sophomore slump. Buffalo's Tyler Myers, the NHL's reigning rookie of the year, struggled again on Friday, going minus-2 to sink his season rating to a league-worst minus-9.
The hulking defenceman had his pocket picked behind his own net by Nick Foligno early in the second period, leading to a Ryan Shannon goal.
Sabres GM Darcy Regier told Hockey Night in Canada Radio earlier on Friday that he thinks Myers will turn things around.
"He's probably started off [the season] by putting too much weight on his own shoulders," Regier said. "But he's a young man who's very even-keeled… He's very hard-working and humble."
All banged up
Both teams are hurting. Ottawa centre Jason Spezza sat out Friday's game because of lingering groin issues, and was classified by coach Cory Clouston as day to day. Spezza missed the season opener against Buffalo with the same ailment, but played in the last five games, accumulating a goal and a team-leading five points.
Sabres winger Jason Pominville (concussion) missed his fifth game, and defenceman Shaone Morrisonn (groin) skipped his fourth straight.