NHL Hockey

Andrerson gets 2nd shutout, Senators beat Sabres 4-0

Buffalo Sabres centre Jack Eichel (9) attempts to wrap the puck around the net on Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson (41) during second period NHL hockey action in Ottawa, Ontario, on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Craig Anderson endured some trying times this season, and now the Ottawa Senators' goalie is enjoying the good times.

Anderson stopped 35 shots for his second shutout of the season and the Ottawa Senators beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 Tuesday night.

Anderson went 97 days this season without a victory. He picked up a win on Saturday in a 4-3 overtime decision against Edmonton. That was his first victory since Dec. 17.

He followed that performance with Tuesday's shutout.

"I thought the guys all fought really hard, especially at the end, so that kind of shows the chemistry and togetherness that has developed here," said interim head coach Marc Crawford. "I think they recognized it was a big win for Craig the other night and now to follow that up with the type of performance he had tonight I think guys were really pushing to make sure they didn't make any miscues to give up the shutout."

The Senators know how rough some nights have been for Anderson, as he's often had to face more than 40 shots.

"He's been facing so many shots every night and we never made it easy for him and he's always stood there and tried to do his best," said Thomas Chabot, who had two assists. "Last game he won his first game in a while and (Tuesday) to get a shutout is what he deserves. He played so well all year. He's been so huge for us so he totally deserves that."

Brian Gibbons had a goal and an assist, and Anthony Duclair, Rudolfs Balcers and Magnus Paajarvi also scored.

The Senators won the first of a four-game homestand after going 1-2-0 on a three-game trip through Western Canada.

Ottawa has won its last three home games and outscored those opponents 12-2.

Carter Hutton made 27 saves for Buffalo, which lost its fourth straight.

Coming off a disappointing 3-1 loss to New Jersey on Monday, the Sabres completed their three-game road trip 0-3-0. Buffalo is 1-10-1 in its last 12 and 0-11-2 in its last 13 road games.

"We're just giving up too much," Kyle Okposo said. "We gave up two tap ins, a power-play goal and I can't remember the first one. It's a lack of respect for our net. I didn't think we were ready to play (Tuesday) and that's pretty inexcusable.I'm running out of things to say."

Okposo made no excuses for the team's performance.

"I just don't think we have that sense of urgency every time that we step on the ice," said Okposo. "We've got six games left, we've got to show some emotion, we've got to play. We've got to play and (Tuesday) was just not good enough."

After a solid first two periods the Senators extended their lead early in the third.

Ottawa took a 3-0 lead on a Balcers power-play goal at 5:54, and less than two minutes later made it 4-0 as Paajarvi scored his 10th of the season off a great passing sequence. It's the second time in Paajarvi's career that he reached the 10-goal mark.

Trailing 2-0, the Sabres had a much better second period, but were unable to beat Anderson.

"Everyone has to be better, this is the National Hockey League," said captain Jack Eichel. "We've got to be better, everyone, myself, everybody. Everybody has to be better. We can't go out and play like that and expect to win."

Buffalo's best opportunities came on the power play, but despite some solid chances, the Sabres could not find the back of the net.

The Senators jumped out to a 2-0, first period lead on goals from Duclair and Gibbons.

Duclair scored at the 17-minute mark, taking a pass down low and beating Hutton with a backhander. With 11 seconds remaining in the period, Gibbons scored Ottawa's second, tapping in a pass from Christian Jaros.

NOTES: Ottawa was without veterans Zack Smith and Cody Ceci. Both are dealing with injuries. ... Buffalo's William Borgen made his NHL debut Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Sabres: Host Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

Senators: Host Florida Panthers on Thursday.

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More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated March 26, 2019

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1 12 Ryan Blaney 9
2 6 Ryan Newman 13
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1 20 Spencer Boyd 25
2 4 Todd Gilliland 6
3 51 Riley Herbst 7
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5 52 Stewart Friesen 10
6 16 Austin Hill 13
7 17 Tyler Ankrum 2
8 88 Matt Crafton 1
9 2 Sheldon Creed 5