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Michael Houser shines in first start of season as Sabres top Senators

Sportsnaut
Sportsnaut
 2022-01-19

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Michael Houser made 43 saves in his first start of the season to help the visiting Buffalo Sabres to a 3-1 win against the Ottawa Senators.

Houser moved to 3-2-0 in five career NHL appearances. Dylan Cozens, Mark Jankowski and Alex Tuch scored for the Sabres.

Drake Batherson scored the Senators’ lone goal. Anton Forsberg, who was a last-minute starter after Matt Murray came down with a non-COVID illness, made 29 saves.

Houser had to be sharp early, stopping Alex Formenton skating in alone and denying Tim Stutzle with a chance on the rebound. Those Ottawa chances were two of seven shots Houser faced in the opening four minutes of the game.

Cozens gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 12:07 of the first period. Cozens took a pass from Tuch in the neutral zone and skated up the middle before cutting to the right side, using Senators defenseman Nick Holden as a screen before firing a wrist shot from the right circle.

Tuch nearly doubled the Sabres’ lead on a short-handed effort just over seven minutes into the second period, taking a feed from Jankowski at the left of the net, but his shot hit the edge of Forsberg’s right pad and went just wide behind the net.

Batherson tied it 1-1 moments later on the same power play. With the Senators looking for an open lane, Stutzle found Batherson down low. Houser sprawled to make the save on Batherson’s initial shot but the forward stuck with it, scooping up the rebound and lifting it over the Sabres goaltender at 7:44 of the second.

Jankowski picked off Josh Brown in the neutral zone and held the defenseman off as he skated in on a break to make it 2-1 Sabres at 10:03 of the third period.

Tuch scored into an empty net with 40 seconds remaining.

–Field Level Media

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