OTTAWA – Artem Anisimov and Jean-Gabriel Pageau had two goals apiece as the Ottawa Senators beat the Buffalo Sabres 7-4 on Tuesday.
The Senators (21-28-11) had more than just Chris Phillips’ jersey retirement to celebrate as Craig Anderson made 23 saves to pick up his 200th win with the franchise. He moved into a tie with Tuukka Rask for 40th all-time in wins with 287.
The Sabres jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on a pair of goals by Brandon Montour. But Senators scored four goals in three minutes 29 seconds to turn a two-goal deficit into a 4-2 lead at first intermission.
Anisimov scored a pair, while Vladislav Namestnikov and Drake Batherson also scored in the opening frame. Pageau added two more goals and Anthony Duclair scored an empty-net goal to snap a 21-game scoreless drought.
Kyle Okposo and Victor Olofsson also scored while Carter Hutton made 33 saves for the Sabres (27-25-8), who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.
The Sabres made it a one-goal game early in the second as Okposo scored off an Ottawa turnover when he crashed into the Senators net. Ottawa regained its two-goal lead on Pageau’s 23rd of the season, but it was short lived as Olofsson beat Anderson short side on the power play.
Pageau scored his second of the night at the 12-minute mark on the power play in the third period to give the Senators some breathing room, while Duclair added a short-handed empty net goal.
Prior to the game Phillips’ No. 4 was raised to the rafters. He is just the second modern day Senator to earn the honour, joining Daniel Alfredsson.
Alfredsson, along with former teammates Wade Redden, who spoke, Shawn McEachern, Igor Kravchuk and many more were on hand to honour the defenceman.
Phillips was Ottawa’s first player to play his entire career in a Senators uniform. He holds the franchise record for games played, 1179, and his 114-playoff games rank second in team history behind Alfredsson.
“Incredible,” said Phillips of seeing the banner go up. “It was kind of a finality with my hockey career and maybe that’s the most emotional part of it. It’s done now for sure. To be honoured alongside (Alfredsson), long history of playing together, being great friends. When I look at, I don’t know what the number is but how many guys in the league even have their number retired. To be in that small company I’m really at a loss for words. It’s a really special feeling.”
Curtis Lazar was the lone Sabre to watch the presentation. Lazar, drafted by the Senators in 2013, lived with Phillips and his family while playing in Ottawa.
“For whatever reason I had just assumed the whole team was going to be there and hadn’t looked until I turned back and got a pretty good chuckle out of that,” said Phillips. “To see him there and as I said that’s the type of kid that he is. Strong character.”
Notes: The Senators made their first move in anticipation of the trade deadline as D Dylan DeMelo was traded to Winnipeg in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2020 draft. Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin picked up his 80th career point with an assist Tuesday night.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 18, 2020.
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