Niagara Gazette


November 5, 2011

Fast start buoys Sabres to rare home win


Credit was due all around following the Sabres’ much-needed 2-1 home triumph over the Calgary Flames on Friday, just their second win at the First Niagara Center in six tries.

To wit:

• The Sabres, who imploded in the opening minutes of their last outing, roared out the gate, pumping 18 of their 44 shots on Flames goalie Henrik Karlsson during a wild first period.

• Drew Stafford opened the scoring 7:59 into the contest, his first tally in seven games. The winger kept dazzling throughout, performing like the 31-goal scorer from last season.

• In a scheduled start for Ryan Miller, backup goalie Jhonas Enroth impressed again, outdueling the seldom-used Karlsson, his friend from back home in Sweden.

• The penalty killing, quietly the NHL’s No. 1 unit, stymied the Flames’ 1:09 two-man advantage early in the second period, a huge momentum swing before the capacity crowd of 18,690 fans.

Forget about all that for a moment, though. What was the best part of Friday?

“It’s great we finally got a win here,” said Enroth, who stopped 29 shots, improving to 3-0 this season. “Now everybody can stop talking about that we can’t win here. It’s really nice. We’re back on track now.”

The Sabres had been awful at home, losing two straight and three of four to start the five-game homestand. They possibly hit rock-bottom on Wednesday, falling behind 3-0 by the 6:23 mark and dropping a 3-2 decision to Philadelphia. Another loss and they would’ve fallen to 6-6 overall.

Two days later, the Sabres put together arguably their most complete effort this season.

“That might be our best game this season,” Sabres winger Ville Leino said. “We were really moving the puck well.”

It all began with a terrific start.

“Last game was tough. It’s not what we wanted,” said Sabres winger Nathan Gerbe, who one-timed the winner in the right circle 1:45 into the third period. “This start was better, and it’s the kind of start we’re looking for as a team, just to play up-tempo and get pucks in.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page