Skip to main content

Sabres end home skid with win against Stars

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres are over the longest losing streak in their history. They've turned it around with help from goalie Jhonas Enroth.

Enroth made 38 saves and Zemgus Girgensons had a goal and an assist and Chris Stewart had three assists in a 3-2 win against the Dallas Stars at First Niagara Center on Saturday.

Enroth led the Sabres (16-34-3) to their second win in the past three games with another performance that saw him allow two goals while under consistent pressure. In his past three starts, Enroth has faced 103 shots on goal and made 97 saves, good for a .942 save percentage. Buffalo lost 14 in a row before that.

"I think in the last three games we have been real good ... this was a solid game," Enroth said. "I don't think we played great, but we played good enough to win and that's what matters and it's always a little bit of a nice feeling in the locker room when you get a couple wins together."

The Sabres beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Tuesday, but lost 3-0 to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. Buffalo's win against Dallas ended a six-game home losing streak.

"We owe a lot to Jhonas," Sabres forward Tyler Ennis said. "He played great tonight, he's been great all year. It was great to get the lead, we got off to a quick lead and then Jhonas, he won it for us. … It was a little similar to the Montreal win where we played well for two periods and then Jhonas kind of stole the show for the third."

The Sabres got out to a 3-0 lead in the second period when Girgensons scored his 14th goal of the season 5:59 into the period. He took a pass from defenseman Nikita Zadorov and shot the puck into an empty net after Stars goalie Anders Lindback was caught out of position.

"You know, most of the goals ... Stewart to Zadorov to me, that's an unselfish play," Girgensons said. "It's nice to see guys really care about each other in this locker room."

Stewart has been on the Sabres' top line with Ennis and Girgensons since Jan. 30 against the Vancouver Canucks. Ennis scored his 13th goal of the season 43 seconds into the second period when he received a backhand pass from Stewart and beat Lindback over his glove hand with a one-timer.

"I think the more we start playing with each other, the reads are just becoming automatic and the chemistry is building," Stewart said. "We're really close off the ice too, so that definitely helps. Today was a good step in the right direction and we have [the New York Islanders] tomorrow."

Stewart has 17 points in the past 22 games and has 17 career points against the Stars.

"He's playing the way he's capable of playing," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "He's a big, powerful forward. He can skate, he can shoot, he's hitting, he's probably one of the toughest guys in the League. That type of ability is certainly coming out and he's showing why he's one of the most sought after big guys in the game."

Stewart also assisted on Tyler Myers' third goal of the season with 1:43 left in the first period. Myers took Stewart's pass and skated in from the blue line before taking a wrist shot that deflected off Stars defenseman John Klingberg and past Lindback.

Dallas (23-21-8) has lost three in a row.

"I think especially as of late we've been dominating games," Stars forward Tyler Seguin said. "We've been walking out with 40-plus shots a night against any team, but we're losing by a goal pretty much every night it seems like. Not much time left, but a lot of time left."

Seven of the past 10 losses have been by one goal.

"We haven't been able to push through," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "There's been too many games where we haven't been able to push through and tie a game, or get back in the battle."

Seguin made it 3-1 on a power-play goal with 4:37 left in the second period. Seguin received a pass from Klingberg and took a slap shot that beat Enroth on the short side.

Seguin's goal was his fourth since Jan. 3 and gave him 10 points in the past nine games. Klingberg's assist extended his point streak to five games.

"It was a game we needed to win, again," Seguin said. "Every game's important. There's pressure every game and it's an embarrassing one to lose. They competed hard, they kept buzzing opportunities and we left our goalie hanging a lot of the time tonight."

Cody Eakin made it 3-2 with 10:13 left in the third period after a Sabres turnover. Eakin received a pass from Klingberg and took a wrist shot that beat Enroth high over his right shoulder for his 10th goal of the season.

Lindback made 21 saves.

"It's frustrating," Ruff said. "You know, I still think it starts with us not playing well enough defensively. For about 10 minutes in the second period, they took over. We came back and didn't stop and didn't play the game we needed to play."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.