Sabres 5, Senators 1
Jhonas Enroth’s inspired play has helped stabilize the Buffalo
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
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
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
”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
”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