Hockey

Sens avenge defeat

Ottawa and Buffalo again played to an intense 6-5 battle on Saturday, with the Senators this time coming out on top.

Ottawa and Buffalo again played to an intense 6-5 battle on Saturday, with the Senators this time coming out on top.

Jason Spezza broke a tie late with 4:07 left with a power-play marker. Spezza finished with two goals and an assist in the home win.

"It was a pretty intense game with a lot of physical battles," Spezza told Hockey Night in Canada afterward.

The teams were playing two nights after a brawl on Thursday in Buffalo that saw Ottawa goalie Ray Emery fight his counterpart Martin Biron, as well as Sabres enforcer Andrew Peters. The trio were all ejected from the game.

The melee was sparked byChris Neil's hit on Sabres forward Chris Drury. The NHL fined Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff $10,000 US on Saturday for sending out the likes of Peters and Adam Mair when play resumed.

A pair of fights occurred in the second period on Saturday, with Peters and Ottawa tough guy Brian McGrattan engaging in a marathon battle, followed by a Neil-Mair scrap.

"Our guys did what they were supposed to do," said Ottawa forward Dany Heatley. "Neiler and Gratts did a good job."

Heatley with three points

Heatley had a goal and two assists, with captain Daniel Alfredsson adding a goal and assist for Ottawa (36-22-4). Christoph Schubert and Chris Kelly also scored.

Mike Fisher and Wade Redden each had two assists for the Senators.

Emery made 31 saves for the win.

Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller replaced Biron after the Senators scored three in a 1:51 span in the second. Miller was strong in relief, turning aside 19 of 21 shots.

Henrik Tallinder scored twice, including the tying goal midway through the third that capped aSabre comeback from a three-goal deficit.

Thomas Vanek had a goal and assist, with Derek Roy and Jason Pominville also finding the mark for Buffalo (41-16-5).

Sabres Daniel Briere and Drew Stafford,who scored theshootout winner in the 6-5 game on Thursday,each had two assists.

The Sabres received a scare when Briere took a puck to the face in the first. The team has seen players go down to injury, including Drury, in six straight games.

The team has needed to call up players such as Stafford, Clarke MacArthur and Patrick Kaleta from the minors to fill in.

"I thought both teams were trying to be physical but I am so impressed when we can play two rookies against their top line and be within minutes of at least tying the game," Ruff said.

"There's no shame in that room."

The season series ended with Ottawa winning five of eight games. The teams could conceivably meet in the playoffs as they did last year, a series won by Buffalo.

Ottawa scores 3 in 1:51

The teams skated into the first intermission tied 1-1, as MacArthur's shot in the net was ruled to have come after the horn sounded to end the period.

Heatley sparked Ottawa's three-goal outburst on the power play. Heatley took Tom Preissing's pass andfired a bullet wrist shot from the left face-off circle that went off the goal post and in at 6:12 of the second.

Just 61 seconds later, the Senators broke out on a rush, which finished with Alfredssondropping apass toSchubert, who put the puck past the sprawling Biron.

Kelly soon stole the puck from Vanek and took off on a breakaway, finishing the play with a pretty backhand shot into the top of the net and what looked like a commanding lead.

For the second straight game Biron made way for Miller, but for entirely different reasons. As a result, Miller has now made six consecutive appearances in net for Buffalo.

Vanek leads Sabres' rebound

Buffalo regrouped on the power play with just under four minutes left in the period when Vanek took advantage of an Emery miscue behind the net and dove to pass the puck to Roy, who had an easy goal from the slot.

The Sabres scored three of the first four goals in the final period. Pominville and Vanek's markers saw the puck trickle past the goal line after mad scrambles in front of Emery.

When Tallinder's point shot found the back of the net with just over eight minutes left to complete the comeback, Senator fans at Scotiabank Place had reason to worry.

But Buffalo's Teppo Numinen drew an interference penalty that lasted just six seconds, withHeatley setting up Spezza for the winner.

Heatley burned the Sabres for eight goals and 10 assists this season.

With files from the Canadian Press