DON’T GET ME STARTED wonders whether fans will be calling it a goalie controversy after Jhonas Enroth played his second outstanding game in a week, leading Buffalo to a 3-1 victory over the visiting New York Rangers.

Two goals by Marcus Foligno and a singleton by Thomas Vanek was all Enroth needed to secure his much needed first victory.  In his last two games, he has given up only 3 goals while Miller has been going along at a 3-goal a game clip.

As he was in his last game when he made many great saves, Enroth is showing his Rochester coach, Ron Rolston that he is more than ready to get more playing time.  He has earned it and the moment that Miller might falter when he returns will have fans calling for Enroth.  But that’s putting the cart before the horse.  What it does show is that Buffalo can now rest a little easier and give Miller perhaps the rest he needs as the season begins to wind down and the hunt for a playoff berth begins.

Enroth finished with 32 saves while Buffalo had only 22 shots on Lundqvist.

If there was a must game for the Sabres this season, it was this one.  Heading into the game, the Rangers were in 8th place with a 13-9-2 record, 7 points ahead of the Sabres resting in last place in the division and at the bottom of the conference with a 9-14-3 record.  Now Buffalo is only 5 points from the last playoff spot with 21 games left in the season.

Buffalo was winless in the previous four contests and in their last 5 games; the first period has been non-productive – in fact pretty brutal.  In the quintet of games, Buffalo has been outshot 55-26 in the opening 20 minutes or an average of 11-5.

They were practically on target, managing 7 shots on Lundquist while the Rangers sent 10 on Jhonas Enroth who got the start in goal since Ryan Miller reportedly came down with a sinus infection.

Part of the problem was the Sabres marching to the penalty box time and time again.  They kept mentioning it and against New York managed to stay out of the sin bin for over 2 periods.  Apparently their concern about taking too many penalties paid off.  Only a holding penalty on Jochen Hecht in the third period prevented the Sabres from executing a perfect no-penalty game.  Meanwhile, the Rangers were whistled 5 times but Buffalo was unable to score.

The only goal by New York came short-handed in the second period.  It was the first goal of the game, but Buffalo quickly got it back and then coasted the rest of the game to get a 2-point win.

After a scoreless first period, the Sabres went on a power play Darrell Powe went off for tripping 2 ½ minutes into the second period.  As happened too often, this backfired when the Rangers scored the first goal of the game – shorthanded.  The Rangers captain Callahan skated down the left side and from the bottom of the left circle sent a pass in front where Derek Stepan simply nudged it behind Enroth giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 4:15.

After Buffalo killed off its first penalty of the game by Jochen Hecht, the Sabres netted the insurance goal that sealed the victory for Enroth.  Brian Flynn did a great job entering the Rangers zone.  He ragged the puck at the left circle, then sent a perfect pass to Sekara who fired toward the net.  Foligno was standing in front and batted the puck into the net to give Buffalo a 3-1 lead with just over 8 minutes left in the game.

Less than a minute later, the game was tied After Ehrhoff and Sekera sent shots on Lundquist, Marcus Foligno managed to snare the puck just to the left of the goalie and tucked it behind him to tie the game at 1-1.  It was his 2nd of the season.

Buffalo then took a 2-1 lead right after a Ranger penalty expired.  Jason Pominville had the puck in his zone and spotted Thomas Vanek racing toward the Rangers blue line.  The pass hit Vanek in stride who came in alone on Lindquist and put his 14th into the net with a wrist shot giving Buffalo the lead at 12:40.  Hodgson also received an assist on the play.

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