Anderson’s heroics, Pageau’s pair help propel Senators past Sabres

Jean-Gabriel Pageau gave Ottawa Senators fans an early Christmas gift with a two-goal effort in a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Brady Tkachuk had a goal and two assists to cap the festivities. Craig Anderson made his first start since suffering a knee injury Dec. 7 and stopped 43 shots.

Zemgus Girgensons scored the lone goal for the Sabres (17-14-7), while Linus Ullmark made 27 saves.

With the game tied 1-1, Pageau scored his second of the night in impressive fashion. He took a drop pass from Connor Brown and broke in on Ullmark, who made the initial save, and then jumped on a Brady Tkachuk rebound and backhanded it in.

Anderson made two great saves to keep the lead, including one on Evan Rodrigues while sprawled on his back. Tkachuk added an empty-net goal to ensure the victory.

Both goalies made a number of big saves in the second period, with Ullmark stopping Tyler Ennis point blank to keep it a one-goal game.

The Sabres were finally able to beat Anderson at 15:12 as Rodrigues made a backhand pass to Girgensons who tipped it over Anderson’s shoulder.

Despite being outshot 14-10 in the first period, it was the Senators (16-18-4) who took a 1-0 lead. Tkachuk sent a great pass to Pageau whp beat Ullmark with a one-timer.

Jack Eichel’s attempt at becoming the first player in Sabres history to have a point in 19 consecutive games came to an end. Eichel came into the game with 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) over his last 18 games.

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