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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Kyle Turris scored twice and the Ottawa Senators won a coach’s challenge to overturn a goal by Buffalo in the third period to hang on for a 3-1 victory over the Sabres in the teams’ season opener on Thursday night.
The game’s outcome was essentially decided with 9:26 remaining, when Buffalo’s Evander Kane scored on a wraparound which would have tied the score at 2. Senators coach Dave Cameron challenged the goal, and a video review showed Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons was offside when Buffalo entered the zone.
The coach’s challenge was introduced by the NHL as a new rule this season. A coach is allowed one challenge per game as long as his team still has it’s timeout.
Kane’s disallowed goal came 83 seconds after Sabres 18-year-old rookie star
Turris scored 30 seconds in on Ottawa’s first shot on net to cap a 3-on-2 break. Mike Hoffman drove up the left wing and fed a pass into the high slot, from where Turris snapped it in the top right side.
Turris scored again midway through the second period. Ottawa’s Mark Stone stripped
Curtis Lazar sealed the victory by scoring into an open net with 1:04 left.
The Sabres finished the game minus starting goalie Robin Lehner, who did not return after appearing to hurt his left leg 7:30 into the second period.
Lehner was untouched when he circled his net, set himself in the crease and then grabbed at his left pad. He then went down on one knee while play continued up the ice. The Sabres announced Lehner sustained a lower-body injury.
Lehner allowed one goal on 12 shots, and was replaced by Chad Johnson, who gave up a goal on 10 shots.
The Senators carried over their run of dominance after closing last season with a 23-4-4 surge to finish seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. They also improved to 12-0-3 in their past 15 road games dating to last season. That matched a franchise record consecutive road games with a point set from March 4 to Nov. 4, 2007, when Ottawa went 11-0-4 according to STATS.
NOTES: Sabres captain Brian Gionta was held out after he sustained a minor lower body injury in practice this week. Bylsma said there’s a chance he can play Saturday, when Buffalo hosts Tampa Bay. … Only nine players who opened last season with Sabres are still on team’s roster. … Turris’ goal was by far the fastest to open a season in Senators franchise history, according to STATS. The previous fastest goal was scored by Wade Redden 2:29 into 5-4 season-opening win at Toronto on Oct. 3, 2001. It was also the fastest goal scored by an NHL team in its opening game since Oct. 6, 2006, when New Jersey’s Zach Parise scored 26 seconds in against Carolina.
John Wawrow, The Associated Press
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