Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

March 13, 2012

Sabres rookie Foligno planning special leap for second goal

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

He has 14 goals, 34 points, 70 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating in 55 AHL games.

“(The season) could’ve gone a little bit better,” Foligno said. “If I just got the confidence a little bit earlier, I would’ve been able to develop more as a player. It’s been tremendous so far and worked out in Rochester developing. So it’s been a good year.”

With forward Matt Ellis “gone for a good period of time” after suffering a knee injury in Saturday’s 4-3 shootout win, Foligno could stick around for a little while, possibly even the rest of the season.

“You want to look at is as the year,” Foligno said. “But I think if you want to stick around longer you got to look at it day-to-day. Every day’s a competition. You got bring your best. … I want to make the best of these games to come.”

Foligno had been on a yo-yo from the AHL to the Sabres, earning three separate emergency recalls in eight days. First, he flew went from Rochester to Vancouver and back, and then to Winnipeg and back without playing.

The trips were exhilarating and tiring, he said.

Finally, Foligno played his second NHL game Saturday, skating 16 minutes with Ennis and Stafford.

At 14:06 of the third period, Foligno scored, throwing the puck out front from beside the net after he had chased down Sergei Gonchar hard and forced him off the puck.

“I got Gonchar in kind of a footrace and he kind of tripped and fell, one of the lucky bounces that you needed to go your way,” Foligno said. “It was just a big-time goal for the team.”

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who played with the elder Foligno, called Marcus a “big boy” and liked the tenacity he showcased in creating the goal.

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