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.