Lucchini scores 1st, Senators end Sabres’ 6-game win streak

Jan 1, 2023, 4:58 AM | Updated: 8:23 pm
Ottawa Senators center Jacob Lucchini (36) celebrates his first career NHL goal during the second p...

Ottawa Senators center Jacob Lucchini (36) celebrates his first career NHL goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

              Ottawa Senators left wing Tim Stutzle (18) tries to get the puck from Buffalo Sabres left wing Victor Olofsson (71) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Buffalo Sabres defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin (46) checks Ottawa Senators left wing Tim Stutzle (18) into the boards during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Buffalo Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson (41) makes a save as Ottawa Senators left wing Tim Stutzle looks on, during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Buffalo Sabres left wing Zemgus Girgensons celebrates a goal with center Peyton Krebs (19) in front of Ottawa Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Ottawa Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg (31) watches the puck as defenseman Travis Hamonic and Buffalo Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo chase the rebound during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Buffalo Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson (41) makes a save on Ottawa Senators center Derick Brassard during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Ottawa Senators center Jacob Lucchini (36) celebrates his first career NHL goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Ottawa Senators center Jacob Lucchini (36) celebrates his first career NHL goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Ottawa, Ontario, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Jacob Lucchini’s first NHL goal was the eventual winner as the Ottawa Senators beat Buffalo 3-1 Sunday night and snapped the Sabres’ six-game winning streak.

“It’s so hard to put into words, honestly,” said Lucchini, a 27-year-old center playing his fifth NHL game. “You just dream about it and it was so special and, obviously, the crowd with so many people. It was such an exciting game, so to have a positive impact like that was really, you know, important for me and good for our team.”

Lucchini was able to share the special moment with his mother, Sandy, who happened to be in town for the game.

The road to the NHL has been a long one for the native of Trail, British Columbia, and he hasn’t taken anything for granted.

While the goal was special for Lucchini, it was clear his teammates were just as excited as they raced to swarm him.

“It was unreal,” Senators captain Brady Tkachuk said. “It’s always special, not only for (Lucchini), but for everybody to be a part of a first NHL goal and see a dream come true. It’s amazing.”

Tim Stutzle scored twice for the Senators and Anton Forsberg, making his first start since Dec. 18, finished with 33 saves.

“I felt good out there. I didn’t feel like I haven’t played for a while, which is great,” Forsberg said.

As impressive as Stutzle has been offensively, the 20-year-old is being counted on defensively.

Stutzle was on the ice when the Sabres had a two-man advantage and for the final minutes of the game, when he managed to score an empty-net goal for his second.

“I just try to play my best and I try to play better defensively every day, and I think D.J. (Smith) trusts me in every situation so that’s really great to see,” Stutzle said.

Zemgus Girgensons scored for the Sabres. Craig Anderson stopped 33 shots.

Through their six-game run, the Sabres had scored 28 goals. This game marked the first in which they scored less than three.

“We’re used to scoring goals, and when that doesn’t happen, everyone gets, you know, ‘Oh my goodness, we didn’t score.’ But that’s going to happen,” Anderson said.

“You’re going to run into some bad luck or a hot goalie in some way, shape or form throughout the year. We can’t dwell on it. You just have to turn the page and look forward to the next one.”

Trailing 2-1 to start the third the Sabres pressed for the equalizer, but Forsberg was up to the challenge. Tage Thompson had a great chance at the halfway mark of the period, but his shot hit the post.

The Sabres took advantage of a bad line change when Mattias Samuelsson made a long pass to Girgensons, sending him in alone. He beat Forsberg with a wrist shot to tie the game at 1.

Midway through the period, Lucchini jumped on a loose puck in front and scored his first on a power play to make it 2-1.

In the opening minute of the game, Stutzle looked to pass to Tkachuk, but the puck bounced back in his direction and he quickly beat Anderson just 47 seconds in.

The Sabres finished the first with a two-man advantage, but were unable to capitalize and trailed 1-0.

“The 5-on-3 depicted everything,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “We complicated what should have been really simple. We had time and space. We just couldn’t even make a simple play. Those are unfortunate signs of fatigue.”

INTERESTING STAT

Drake Batherson needed one point to tie Marian Hossa for third-longest point streak in Senators history. His 12-game point run was the second-longest current streak in the league. But that came to an end Sunday. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid leads the league with 17 games.

NOTES: The Senators remain without defensemen Erik Brannstrom and Nikita Zaitsev. Buffalo’s Alex Tuch has 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in his last 19 games.

UP NEXT

Buffalo: At Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

Ottawa: Host Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, centre, attends a joint news conference with Latvian Prime Min...
Associated Press

Baltic PMs: Olympic boycott possible if Russians compete

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The prime ministers of the three Baltic countries urged the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian athletes from next year’s Paris Games because of the war in Ukraine, saying Friday a boycott was a possibility. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said athletes from her country could be put in a situation […]
1 day ago
FILE - Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights the torch with the...
Associated Press

Olympic flame to take seaborne journey to 2024 Paris Games

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — The Olympic flame is going for a sail. Instead of arriving overland, the symbolic flame alighting the 2024 Paris Games will take to the seas from its birthplace in Greece, arriving aboard a three-masted tall ship in the French port of Marseille. Paris organizers announced the flame’s journey on Friday at […]
1 day ago
FILE -LeBron James speaks at the opening ceremony for the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, Monday, ...
Associated Press

LeBron’s off-court legacy complements his basketball success

Mya Smiley is a student at the University of Akron thanks to an assist from LeBron James, and she is determined upon graduation to become a social worker that helps foster kids. Her education and career path would not have been possible, the sophomore says, were it not for a scholarship and counseling that she […]
1 day ago
Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett, center, is congratulated by his players after notching his 5...
Associated Press

Bennett earns 500th win as No. 18 Saint Mary’s beats USF

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Randy Bennett earned his 500th win as Saint Mary’s coach when the 18th-ranked Gaels beat San Francisco 68-59 on Thursday night for their 11th straight victory. Alex Ducas had 18 points and Aidan Mahaney scored 13 of his 17 in the second half to lead the Gaels (20-4, 9-0 West Coast […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Clippers' Nicolas Batum fouls Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the first h...
Associated Press

Antetokounmpo scores 54 points, Bucks beat Clippers 106-105

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrated his most famous 50-point performance by ordering 50 chicken nuggets at a Chick-fil-A drive-through the next day. He already has an idea how to commemorate reaching that plateau for the third time in the last month. Antetokounmpo scored 20 of his 54 points in the fourth quarter and the […]
1 day ago
Duke coach Kara Lawson directs the team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game ag...
Associated Press

Duke women’s coach Lawson says men’s ball used vs. FSU

Duke coach Kara Lawson said her team played with a men’s basketball for the first half of a loss to Florida State last Sunday. The 16th-ranked Blue Devils lost to the Seminoles 70-57 in Tallahassee, Florida — the team’s second Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season. After her team beat Pittsburgh 53-44 on Thursday, […]
1 day ago
Lucchini scores 1st, Senators end Sabres’ 6-game win streak