Tyler Ennis scored 19 seconds into his return to the Buffalo Sabres lineup Monday, but it was the goal he didn't score that people will be talking about.
Ennis picked up the puck lacrosse-style from behind the goal and nearly beat Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen during the first period in Buffalo.
"I wish that went in. I had some room. Pretty frustrated, but maybe one day one of those will go in," Ennis said. "I practice it all the time and it works. Sometimes in practices and warm-ups I'm always kind of flicking pucks around with my stick and having fun with it. I tried it another time against Florida and Luongo stopped it so, third time's the charm, hopefully."
Ennis had missed Buffalo's previous 30 games while nursing a sports-hernia injury. He must have been practicing his trick shots while out of the lineup.
"I think we were a little bit stunned on the bench. We didn't see it, notice it, at first and we were kind of looking around, 'Did he really try to do that?'" Sabres teammate Jack Eichel said. "He said he kind of just blacked out and tried it. But that's the element that he brings; that element of creativity and he keeps the opposing team on their heels."
"He pulls that lacrosse move off quite often (in practice)," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "To have enough presence of mind to try it in a game when there's grown men out there trying to crush you, just shows you kind of where the comfort level he's at."
Ennis' off-beat shot attempt harkens memories of Mike Legg's lacrosse-style goal for the University of Michigan against Minnesota in the 1996 NCAA West Regional Final, perhaps the greatest such goal of all-time.
Legg pulled that move again and scored from center ice when Michigan celebrated the 20th anniversary of its national-championship team in October.