Niagara Gazette

Sports

November 5, 2011

Fast start buoys Sabres to rare home win

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff added: “I thought our puck movement and execution was probably the best game of the year when it comes to that. The power play alone in the first period could’ve had five or six (goals).”

The Sabres spent most of the opening period in the Calgary zone. They almost scored several times, but Karlsson, in his 14th NHL start, had a career-best outing. During a later power play, the 27-year-old made three huge saves, including an incredible glove stop on Brad Boyes.

“He looked good,” Leino said. “He was like a bigger version of (starter Miikka) Kiprusoff.”

Still, Enroth outplayed his friend, who’s 6-foot-6, at least seven inches taller than Enroth.

“Jhonas was even better, and he’s been playing really awesome,” Leino said.

Moments after the crossbar saved him, Enroth helped kill the Flames’ two-man advantage, gloving Anton Babchuk’s point blast.

Earlier, Karlsson couldn’t stop a similar shot, Stafford’s wicked one-timer from the top of the left circle.

Afterward, wearing a special gold helmet for being the Sabres’ leading scorer, Stafford explained how he busted his slump.

“Trying to get open, same thing I’ve been trying to do last few games finally getting a break and a good shot, and that one goes in,” Stafford said. “It’s one of those things where I was going through a tough time production-wise, so you got to make sure you keep trying to shoot, keep trying to get to the net, eventually one will go in.”

Stafford had a few other prime scoring opportunities, including a two-on-zero chance he shot over the net late.

“For all the good breaks you get, you still get some bad ones,” Stafford said.

Gerbe made it 2-0, connecting after Marc-Andre Gragnani tried to get the puck on net from inside the blue line.

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