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Rookies help Sabres end Flyers' winning streak

Sunday, 11.15.2009 / 1:21 AM / Roundup

By Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

With a little help from a pair of former first-round draft picks, the Buffalo Sabres ended the Philadelphia Flyers' five-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory Saturday night at the Wachovia Center.

Tyler Ennis scored his first NHL goal and Tyler Myers added an assist for the Sabres, who have won three straight.

Buffalo had the edge in play right from the start, and that led to the game's first goal at 3:11. After Philadelphia's Daniel Carcillo took an offensive-zone, post-whistle cross-checking penalty, the Sabres had several good chances before Thomas Vanek ripped a shot from the slot past Ray Emery for his sixth goal of the season.

"We played last night so we made a few adjustments to our system," Sabres forward Jason Pominville said. "We wanted a good start, get on them early. We got the lead, so we were able to do that. We limited them to 12 shots through 35 minutes and did a good job. Later on, they came hard and gave us a tough time. I don't know if that was fatigue on our side, but we stuck with it and came out with two points that were huge."

Ennis, playing in his first NHL game, got the Sabres' second goal at 14:50 of the second period. Patrick Kaleta fed Tim Kennedy on the right boards near the goal line, and Ennis was waiting behind the net. Ennis broke to his left and collected Kennedy's pass, turned and beat Emery from a sharp angle for his first NHL goal.

Ennis ranks second on the AHL Portland Pirates, Buffalo's affiliate, with 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points, and is third among AHL rookie scorers. He was promoted to Buffalo due to injuries to Drew Stafford and Mike Grier.

"It was a special night. I got in just in time for the game," Ennis said. "I had a lot of enjoyment and playing with Tim Connolly and Thomas Vanek makes it a lot easier. The goal was a pretty awesome feeling.

"When I got the call, I was really excited and a little nervous I was trying to focus and concentrate on working hard," Ennis said. "Tim Kennedy had the puck and we were down low, battling, and he sent it backward through the D-man's legs behind the net. I walked out and threw it on net because Emery looked a little off-balance. I got lucky. It bounced off him and went in."

Chris Pronger got the Flyers to 2-1 at 2:43 of the third period as Philadelphia began taking control. Jeff Carter, near the goal line on the left side, fed Pronger at the left point and he ripped a slap shot past Ryan Miller.

Buffalo regained a two-goal advantage at 7:25 when Adam Mair, placed on waivers earlier this week, won a faceoff and Myers tipped the puck back to Paul Gaustad, whose shot eluded Emery for another power-play goal.

The Flyers went on the power play when Vanek slashed Mike Richards while chasing him up-ice into the neutral zone. But the Flyers lost the man advantage when Briere retaliated on Chris Butler's cross-checking penalty in Buffalo's zone. Briere slashed Butler up high and he went for four minutes while Butler got two minutes.

"I don't know if (the penalties) were retaliatory tonight," Richards said. "I thought it was some bad luck. Penalties with sticks breaking is just bad luck. You're not going to get a good batch of sticks every time. It's disappointing, but I thought we played well. The effort was there, which is encouraging. We never quit. The game could've gone either way."

The Flyers dominated during the 4-on-4, but Buffalo put heavy pressure on Emery who did well to grab the loose puck. Four seconds later, Gaustad beat the Flyers' goalie.

Philadelphia got within a goal again at 9:50 when Carter muscled in a goal from the crease on a hard-working shift by Richards, but the Flyers failed to notch the equalizer.

"I think the game had a lot of intensity," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "You have two teams who are really fighting for position in the conference. I think we made it harder there by playing catch-up with the penalties in the first period, and I just think we got frustrated. Then we allowed them to get a little momentum, but I really thought we responded in a good way. We did everything but tie the hockey game."

Rangers 2, Senators 1 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS

With his parents and other family and friends in the crowd at Scotiabank Place, P.A. Parenteau scored the winning goal in the seventh round of the shootout to lead New York past Ottawa.

''It's a good feeling,'' said Parenteau, who was recalled from Hartford of the AHL on Friday. ''Torts (coach John Tortorella) asked me if I was doing well in the minors in the shootout and I said, 'I do pretty well, decent,' so he gave me a shot. I think I pretty much redeemed myself for the goal I missed with a minute left so I'm pretty happy right now. I've got a lot of family and friends in town so it's a good moment for me.''

Henrik Lundqvist made five saves in the shootout to help the Rangers snap a two-game skid. He stopped 35 shots through overtime.

After a scoreless first period, Brian Lee gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead at 4:29 of the second when he finished a nice passing play with Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Kelly. It was Lee's second goal of the season.

''It was a great pass from (Ruutu) and (Kelly) took away the goalie's eyes, so I think you guys could have put that one in," Lee joked.

But the lead was short-lived, as Vinny Prospal tied the game with his fifth goal of the season at 10:58. Prospal came down on a 2-on-1 with Marian Gaborik and ripped the latter's feed past Brian Elliott (27 saves) to make it 1-1.

The Rangers were forced to play shorthanded at the end of overtime after Ales Kotalik was sent off for tripping Milan Michalek at 3:37, but Ryan Callahan blocked consecutive point shots by Daniel Alfredsson during the ensuing 4-on-3 power-play.
 
''You know, he's one of our key guys when it comes to the PK,'' Lundqvist said. ''He's been there for a couple of years and the big part is reading the game, to be in the right lane when they pass the puck.''

Panthers 5, Islanders 4 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS

After both teams surrendered two-goal leads in regulation, Nathan Horton beat Dwayne Roloson in the fourth round of the shootout at BankAtlantic Center to give Florida a second point and its fourth win in five shootouts.

Cory Stillman, Rostislav Olesz, Stephen Weiss and Michael Frolik scored in regulation for the Panthers, while Tomas Vokoun made 36 saves.

''The result was the most important thing,'' Vokoun said. ''I think we played good for part of this game, but we have to do it for 60 minutes.''

Tim Jackman, Trent Hunter, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo had the goals for the Isles, who received a 38-save effort from Roloson. The Islanders, who fell to 1-4 in the shootout, have earned points in four straight games.

"We showed resilience in getting that point," said Okposo, who tied the game via the power play with 6:46 remaining.

Jackman and Hunter gave the Isles a 2-0 lead before the 4:30 mark of the first period, but Florida responded with four straight goals. Frolik gave the Panthers a 4-2 lead with a power-play goal at 3:03 of the third.

But Tavares came up with a power-play goal of his own at 8:27, then won a draw to set up Okposo's wrist shot from just inside the point that found its way through a crowd and past Vokoun.

''Sometimes when you get a lead like that, you get a little lackadaisical,'' Tavares said of the Isles' letdown. ''You have to bear down and be sharper.''

Flames 5, Maple Leafs 2 | HIGHLIGHTS

Jarome Iginla scored twice and Miikka Kiprusoff made 38 saves as Calgary skated past the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre for its first regulation in Toronto since 1994.

Not that Flames coach Brent Sutter was thrilled with his team's performance.

"The positives here tonight is that we got two points, our goaltender played very well, the captain scored two goals and we got a goal on our power play," Sutter said. "Other than that, it's wasn't a great game on our behalf. We were fortunate to get a win."

Calgary jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as Iginla and Eric Nystrom beat Jonas Gustavsson before the 1:40 mark of the first period. Francois Beauchemin cut the deficit to 2-1 with a power-play goal at 5:24, but the Flames ended Gustavsson's night when Dustin Boyd made it a 3-1 game before the midway point of the opening period.

It marked the ninth time in 18 games this season that the Maple Leafs have trailed 2-0. Ron Wilson was asked for an explanation.

"I don't have one," the Leafs coach responded. "I'm sorry."

Matt Stajan made it a one-goal game again when he scored on the power play 4:41 into the second period, but Toronto wouldn't get any closer despite outshooting the Flames 20-4 in the second. Calgary sealed the deal in the third on goals from Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester.

"Thank goodness he was there," Flames defenseman Robyn Regehr said of Kiprusoff. "I thought for most of the first period and all the second period, they were the better team. He made great saves. He had a tremendous game."

Kings 2, Lightning 1 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS

After nearly losing the game with 1:40 left in overtime on a goal that was disallowed, Los Angeles skated away with a victory at Tampa Bay thanks to Anze Kopitar's tally in the shootout.

Jonathan Quick made 28 saves for the Kings, who received a goal from Drew Doughty on the power play at 7:20 of the third period. The Lightning erased the 1-0 deficit when Ryan Malone beat Quick for his 12th goal of the season at 11:39. Antero Niittymaki made 29 saves for Tampa Bay, which is 5-0-4 on home ice.

''That felt great,'' said Quick, who was pulled after allowing four second-period goals in Atlanta on Friday. ''Everyone just dug in deep and played a great game.''

Tampa Bay thought it had won the game on OT, only to have the goal disallowed because of goaltender interference. It appeared that Tampa Bay forward Paul Szczechura might have been pushed into Quick by a Kings player as Andrej Meszaros' shot from the blue line went into the net.

"There's nothing you can do. It happens," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "We had a couple chances in overtime, but it's a tough one."

The call by referee Frederick L'Ecuyer wasn't allowed to be reviewed by video replay.

''In the eyes of the referee, the goaltender was clearly interfered with by the attacking player,'' NHL referee supervisor Don Koharski said.
 
Predators 2, Canadiens 0 | HIGHLIGHTS

Steve Sullivan scored twice and Pekka Rinne stopped all 20 shots he faced as Nashville overcame a 53-save performance by Carey Price and blanked Montreal at the Sommet Center.

Nashville outshot Montreal 55-20 en route to its second straight win and sixth in eight tries. Montreal has dropped four of six. The 55 shots are a franchise record for the Preds.

"We've created a lot of havoc and we've been putting a lot of pucks on net," Sullivan said. "We've had a lot of good scoring chances. Tonight we created a lot of pressure for their defensemen and made them turn on every shift."

Sullivan scored his first goal at 10:48 of the opening period when he backhanded his own rebound past Price, who tied a franchise record with his 53 saves. The Predators also set a franchise record with 24 shots on goal in the first.

"It would have been nice to be able to get a win," said Price, who equaled the save total of Wayne Thomas on Oct. 3, 1974, against Pittsburgh. "I was here to get two points, not a record."

Nashville took a 2-0 lead at 12:59 of the third on Sullivan's second goal, which came during a two-man advantage. Once again, Sullivan gobbled up a rebound after Price made an initial save and one-timed it from the left circle past the Montreal goalie.

"I don't know how many times in an NHL season that many shots are given up," Montreal forward Mike Cammalleri said. "The two goals obviously weren't his fault -- they could have had eight or nine."
 
Sharks 3, Blues 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

Dany Heatley and Jed Ortmeyer scored in a 16-second span during the second period as San Jose continued its winning ways in St. Louis.

Joe Thornton added an empty-net goal with 41.2 seconds left and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 38 shots as the Sharks improved to 9-0-2 in their past 11 games.

St. Louis, meanwhile, fell to 1-4-3 in its last eight and 3-7-1 on home ice. On Friday, they were challenged by owner Dave Checketts to start winning games.

''We had a tiger by the tail,'' Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of the Blues. ''You know when ownership challenges the hockey club from everybody on down, we knew they were going to come out and play extremely hard. To get the two quick goals kind of took a little bit of steam out of their sails. They continued to play hard but it was important for us.''

Jay McClement gave the Blues the lead with 1:04 left in the first period, but Heatley and Ortmeyer responded for San Jose in the second. Ortmeyer's goal was made possible by a turnover by Blues defenseman Erik Johnson.

''Bad play by me. Park it and move on, learn from it,'' Johnson said. ''They were pressing down pretty hard on (Carlo Colaiacovo) in a set breakout and they had a guy kind of right on me on the other side of the net. I just shot it up the middle to (Manny Malhotra) streaking; just not a very good play.

''I should have gone off the glass or something a lot safer.''

The Blues, who went 0-for-6 on the power play, outshot the Sharks 11-2 in the third period and 36-19 overall.

''We've certainly have had trouble scoring. That's been our Achilles' from the beginning of the season,'' St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. ''We're playing hard. We're battling.

''I don't know if we gave up eight scoring chances tonight. We certainly had double that. Our goal scorers are squeezing their sticks. Pucks are laying there or they're just going by the net or we're not putting it in. Keep working, and the pucks that are not going in now will find a way to go in for us.''

Coyotes 3, Stars 2 | HIGHLIGHTS

Robert Lang had a goal and an assist and Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves as Phoenix held off Dallas at Jobing.com Arena and gave coach Dave Tippett a win in his first game against the team that fired him this summer.

David Schlemko scored his first career goal and Radim Vrbata also scored for the Coyotes, who won for just the second time in six games.

''You'd be lying to say it wasn't (special),'' said Tippett, who was fired by the Stars after they missed the playoffs last season. ''First and foremost, you come into the game and you want to prepare your team, but you also know a lot of those people there very well. I was there for a long time. It's not just coaching. It's friendships.''

Mike Modano had a goal and an assist and Matt Niskanen also scored for the Stars, who have lost two of three.

''We didn't win the battles in front of the net and we didn't win the battles of the faceoffs tonight,'' Stars coach Marc Crawford said. ''We didn't have our best tonight. That happens sometimes.''

Lang broke a scoreless tie just 12 seconds into the second period when he beat Marty Turco on a backhander. Modano tied the game six minutes later before Schlemko tallied his first NHL goal in the final minute of the second on a wrister from the left circle.

''It was a special one for Coach Tippett,'' said Schlemko, who two seasons ago was playing 90 minutes northwest of Phoenix for the Arizona Sundogs. ''I think it felt good to get his old team.''

Vrbata gave Phoenix a 3-1 lead at 3:35 of the third before Niskanen converted on the power play with 12:58 to play.

''Things seem to happen a lot easier when you get on a roll,'' Turco said. ''You don't feel like you're grinding it and others get on a roll and carry a team. But that hasn't been the case for us.''

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report


Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic