Sabres 5, Senators 1

Jhonas Enroth’s inspired play has helped stabilize the Buffalo

Sabres.

Buffalo’s backup made 36 saves, and Derek Roy had a goal and two

assists in the Sabres’ 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday

night.

Enroth, still considered a rookie despite playing in 14 games

last season, improved to 5-0 this season and 14-3-2 in his career.

After taking over for ineffective starter Ryan Miller in the first

period of a loss to Philadelphia earlier this month, Enroth has

helped the Sabres get back on track.

Since that 3-2 loss to the Flyers – Buffalo’s fourth defeat in

five games – the Sabres have won four straight, with Enroth in goal

for three of the wins.

”He’s done a good job coming in,” said Roy, who has four goals

and eight points during the winning streak. ”He’s stepped up in

the games, made big saves for us, and has gotten some big wins for

us.”

Enroth was solid throughout, with his best save coming midway

through the second period when he robbed Zack Smith’s tap-in

attempt on a 2-on-1 break while the Senators were short-handed.

Otherwise, he was able to effectively steer away Ottawa’s

shots.

”They had a lot of shots, but a lot of them came from pretty

far out,” Enroth said. ”It was pretty easy. There weren’t too

many really good chances.”

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean agreed.

”We played catch with him,” MacLean said. ”He had way less

trouble around his net than our goalie had.”

Enroth is 12-0-1 in 13 decisions since his last loss in

regulation, which came last Nov. 24 in a 1-0 defeat at

Pittsburgh.

”I have to stay humble,” he said. ”Hockey is a sport where it

can turn around quick. I go out there and try to play every game

like it would be my last game.”

Matt Ellis, Jordan Leopold, Luke Adam, and Ville Leino also

scored for the Sabres (10-5). It was Buffalo’s eighth win in nine

meetings with Ottawa.

”We moved the puck around well, skated, and worked for each

other,” Roy said. ”When we get the chances, we have to finish

them like we did.”

Drew Stafford added three assists for the Sabres.

Sergei Gonchar scored for slumping Ottawa (7-9-1), which dropped

to 0-4-1 since a six-game winning streak.

”We have to shore up some things,” Senators forward Nick

Foligno said. ”It wasn’t a step back, but we have to re-evaluate

how we need to play.”

Craig Anderson let in two goals on six shots over the first 2

1/2 minutes before being pulled. Alex Auld finished with 12 saves

in relief for the Senators.

”I left some garbage out front and they tapped it home,”

Anderson said. ”That’s how my night went.”

Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson returned after missing five

games because of a concussion sustained when he was hit in the head

by New York Rangers forward Wojtek Wolski.

Up by two goals after two periods, the Sabres pushed their lead

to 4-1 when Adam shoveled home Thomas Vanek’s nifty pass from in

tight 4 minutes into the third.

Leino made it 5-1 just 57 seconds later with his second goal of

the season and first since the opener.

The Sabres struck first with a pair of goals 16 seconds apart

early in the first to chase Anderson. Roy netted his fifth off a

rebound before Ellis chipped the puck in from the slot with a

backhand at 2:25.

Ottawa closed the gap to 2-1 on Gonchar’s power-play goal 4:38

into the first. From the right circle he one-timed Erik Karlsson’s

cross-ice pass past Enroth.

Buffalo regained its two-goal edge on Leopold’s goal with 5:20

to go in the opening period.

NOTES: The Senators began a six-game road trip. … Sabres RW

Patrick Kaleta served the fourth and final game of his NHL

suspension for head-butting Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub

Voracek on Nov. 2. … Ottawa RW Chris Neil missed the game because

of a high ankle sprain sustained in Wednesday’s loss to the New

York Rangers. … Roy extended his point streak to four games. …

The Sabres have scored three goals in the first period in

consecutive games, the first time they have done that since March

2008.