Niagara Gazette — Despite a number of teams above them in the Eastern Conference standings, the Buffalo Sabres have very little quit in them.
Following a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday evening, the Sabres find themselves in 10th place, but only four points behind eighth-place New York Rangers.
Even a few nights ago, after falling short against the Montreal Canadiens Thursday, the team didn't look like an interested team, one willing to fight and claw to make the postseason.
"I think the guys in the room believe that, that they're a playoff team," Interim Head Coach Ron Rolston said after defeating Tampa Bay. "We've had some setbacks in the last week, especially the Montreal game. But there's a lot of pride in that room and guys were able to bounce back on the weekend and put some efforts back to back."
Much of the team's turnaround this weekend can be attributed to the strong play of its backup goaltender. Jhonas Enroth made 32 saves in his second start of the weekend Sunday, supplanting Ryan Miller temporarily as the team's go-to netminder. He recorded more than 96 minutes of shutout hockey before he was beaten by a Benoit Pouliot deflection 13:30 into the second period.
The Sabres had already opened up a 3-0 lead at that point, though.
Rolston said Enroth's strong play Saturday was the primary reason he got the call Sunday and the gamble turned out in the team's favor.
"He's been playing so well and the shutout (Saturday) night," he said. "We wanted to get him back in there."
Tyler Ennis opened the scoring with a powerplay goal 4:09 into the first period. The goal developed along the penalty box boards when defenseman Christian Ehrhoff made a between the legs pass to the side of the net, where Thomas Vanek was waiting. Vanek slid a pass to Ennis who made no mistake slamming the puck into a gaping net after Tampa goaltender Mathieu Garon committed to Vanek on the play.