Hoffman scores OT winner in Sens’ comeback win over Sabres

Mike Hoffman joked earlier in the day with his buddy Robin Lehner that he was going to score on his former teammate Thursday night.

Hours later Hoffman did so, scoring 1:13 into overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Hoffman took a cross-ice pass from Erik Karlsson and beat Lehner with a one-timer from the left side.

“We were fortunate enough to catch them in a middle of a change and Karlsson made a great play and I just tried to hit the net,” Hoffman said.

“The ice is a little choppy in overtime and you never try to put one in the top corner, it’s more so just getting the puck on net and that’s what I tried to do.”

Marian Gaborik and Derick Brassard also scored as the Senators (19-28-9) halted a two-game losing streak. Craig Anderson made 23 saves.

Scott Wilson and Evan Rodrigues scored in regulation for the Sabres (18-30-10). They got a 33-save performance from Lehner, who has yet to lose in regulation against his former team going 5-0-3.

“He played terrific and he always seems to bring his best against Ottawa,” Sabres forward Kyle Okposo said of Lehner.

“It wasn’t a clean game and I thought our effort was sporadic. I thought in the second period they absolutely dominated us. We’ve got to better.’

Twice the Senators trailed by a goal in the third period only to comeback, the second time being a goal from Brassard with 30.9 seconds left in regulation.

“We got exactly what we deserved. The compete, the battles, [Ottawa] won the majority of them and even though we somehow found a way to get a 2-1 lead, we’ve played much better than that in the last three or four games,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said.

“It’s a good learning lesson for our guys that you have to come to play and prepare and compete every night.”

Gaborik’s strong debut

Gaborik tied the game 1-1 when he tipped a point shot from Karlsson past Lehner at 5:15 of the third. It was the first goal for Gaborik in his first game with the Senators after being acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings.

Gaborik also had an assist in the game.

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