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Double Minors: Sabres 3 – Senators 2 SO

November 7, 2011

The Sabres managed to get it done again. A late October slum has been temporarily halted after a back-to-back sweep, the most recent win coming in a shootout against Ottawa.

Buffalo didn’t make the weekend easy. After a hard fought 2-1 victory over Calgary on Friday, the Sabres allowed the first goal and a poor tying marker to the Senators before closing them out in the skills competition.

Jhonas Enroth got the nod for the second-straight night, a pretty easy decision based on his recent play. While Enroth wasn’t the goaltender he had been over the previous three games, he gave the Sabres an opportunity to win the game.

Buffalo had a flat start from top to bottom, it wasn’t until midway through the second that anyone showed a spark. Luckily, most of the team was able to find their reserve tanks late in the weekend to get two points. Considering the situation, a three-for-four weekend would have been totally acceptable, the bonus point was exactly that. A bonus.

The Sabres can thank the Leino-Roy-Stafford line along with Nathan Gerbe for the victory. Gerbe’s incredible individual effort created Buffalo’s second goal while the Roy line was easily the best on the ice for Buffalo for the entire contest. Roy tallied in regulation and the shootout and the line continued to create chances and be generally effective in both zones.

Buffalo returns home for a pair of games this week, starting Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

  • Ville Leino appears to have found his comfort zone within the Buffalo system. He has settled in nicely on the wing with Roy and Stafford – Buffalo’s closest line to the Briere and Harntell combo Leino skated with in Philly. Leino’s brilliant slap pass – yes, it wasn’t a shot – hit Roy on the tape for Buffalo’s first goal. It was nice to see him rewarded for three strong games in a row.
  • Tyler Myers had two games in Ottawa. He had a rough go for the first 30 minutes before finding his game in the latter 30. It seems clear that Myers is best when he is free skating and not trying to play a conservative style. When Myers plays aggressive and freestyles, he is an elite defenseman.
  • The Subway Line has been quiet for two games in a row. Vanek had a nifty SO tally and is still creating chances. The pucks will keep going in for those three, I feel a lot of their success rides on what kind of game Luke Adam is having. If Adam is struggling, ice time will vary as will the line’s center. When Adam is on, the line stays together and is able to click.
  • Brad Boyes continues to thrive in a more prominent role. Not to mention he had a great SO goal, but his real contributions are coming alongside Nathan Gerbe and Paul Gauastad.
  • I’m interested to see where Tyler Ennis will land once he is healthy. He struggled a bit through the first few games before getting injured. Now, Leino has settled in on one wing and Gerbe and Vanek are locked into their positions. It is tough to admit, but Ennis looks like the odd man out for the Sabres at this point.
  • Jhonas Enroth deserved the start against Ottawa. While he was fairly average, he made some strong saves and got the two points. Tuesday will be a perfect opportunity to bounce back with Ryan Miller, Enroth didn’t do anything on Saturday to merit a third-straight outing.

Three Stars

1. Derek Roy

2. Craig Anderson

3. Milan Michalek

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