BUFFALO, N.Y. â€” Robin Lehner relied on his knowledge of his former team to earn his first shutout of the season.
Lehner made 37 saves, Kyle Okposo scored his 16th goal and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Ottawa Senators 4-0 on Saturday night to snap a three-game skid.
Lehner got his fourth career shutout. His first two came with the Senators, who traded him to Buffalo before last season.
“They are a smart team out there. Obviously, playing with them a little bit, I know their tendencies and where they are going to go,” Lehner said. “I do a lot of pre-scout, a lot of thinking out there. That’s a big part of my game, to try and see what’s going to happen.”
In five games against the Senators over the past two seasons, Lehner is 3-0-2 with a .961 save percentage and a 1.18 goals-against average.
The Sabres also got goals from Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Reinhart and Marcus Foligno. Jack Eichel had two assists.
“It’s a big win, but the big piece is Lenny there,” O’Reilly said.
Buffalo is 5-0-1 in its last six home games and has earned a point in seven straight games against Ottawa.
The Senators closed out a three-game road trip with their fourth loss in six games.
“They outplayed us for most of the game and we didn’t deserve it,” forward Zack Smith said. “We threw a lot of pucks at the net, but I don’t think we were there enough.”
Mike Condon allowed four goals on 25 shots before getting pulled in the third period. Condon was making his 18th straight start, and coach Guy Boucher said he took him out to get backup Andrew Hammond some playing time, not because he was displeased with Condon’s performance.
Okposo gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead with 9:49 left in the first period. He received a pass from Justin Falk in the left corner, held off
O’Reilly scored his 10th to make it 2-0 with 3:09 remaining in the second. Stationed in the right slot, O’Reilly redirected Rasmus Ristolainen’s wrist shot from the point past Condon.
Lehner made 13 saves in the second period. His best stop came in the final minute when he skated out of the crease and reached back to glove a hard wrist shot by Mike Hoffman.
Reinhart knocked in the rebound of his own missed shot 5:53 into the third period for his 11th goal of the season. Foligno slid a wrist shot under Condon’s pads with 9:09 remaining after Eichel intercepted Dion Phaneuf’s clearing pass. Eichel also assisted on Reinhart’s goal.
Lehner had 16 saves in the third period, including five on a Senators’ power play.
“He played phenomenal tonight,” O’Reilly said. “All year, he’s been one of the most consistent players.”
NOTES: The Senators were last shut out by Washington on Jan. 7 and had scored 42 goals in the 11 games since. … Sabres D Josh Gorges returned after missing 12 games with a hip injury and had an assist on Okposo’s goal. D Jake McCabe was also back in the lineup after being out five games due to a shoulder injury. … D Zach Bogosian (ribs) and F William Carrier (knee) were scratched after getting hurt in Buffalo’s 2-1 loss to the Rangers on Thursday. … Buffalo recalled F Justin Bailey on Saturday and sent F Cal O’Reilly to the minors. O’Reilly cleared waivers on Friday. … Buffalo is 8-0-0 this year when Eichel has two or more points.
Senators: Host St. Louis on Tuesday to start a four-game homestand.
Sabres: Begin a stretch of five games in seven days at New Jersey on Monday.
Jonah Bronstein, The Associated Press