The win improved Buffalo to 12-7-0 overall, and a league-best 7-2 on the road. For all the concern over the team’s early struggles at First Niagara Center, the Sabres have been able get the job done all season on the road.
Lindy Ruff says it comes down to one simple thing.
“We’ve been smarter, just flat out,” explained Ruff. “You can break it down any way you want, we’ve been a lot smarter on the road than we have at home. We’ve gotta take that game into our building and play that way.”
You can break it down any way you want, we’ve been a lot smarter on the road than we have at home. We’ve gotta take that game into our building and play that way. - Lindy Ruff
The shutout was the second of Enroth’s career – with both resulting in 1-0 victories. Even though Enroth faced 34 shots, the Sabres defense made his life easy all night by clearing rebounds quickly and avoiding the second chance scoring opportunities.
“We had people back, and got some sticks on opportunities,” said Ruff. “And we had some guys lay down to block shots, which showed the desperation in the game.”
Enroth was forced to make a few big saves late in the game, including a highlight reel glove save on a slapshot from Jamie McBain with time winding down in the third.
The quiet netminder has been a big part of the team’s road success, with four of his seven wins coming away from home. Enroth has a unique style of play, one that Pominville has grown to appreciate.
“He’s been on a roll, playing real well for us,” says Pominville. “He’s not the typical goalie that you see -- not the butterfly goalie that every team basically has. He gets the job done and finds a way to win. We’re excited for him and the way he’s been playing.”
The Sabres return home to face the Phoenix Coyotes at First Niagara Center on Saturday at 7 p.m.NOTES:
Pominville and Thomas Vanek
both extended their point streaks to six games … The duo have also combined on a league-high 19 goals this season … The Sabres are now 4-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets … Buffalo improved to a perfect 9-0-0 when leading after two periods … Tyler Myers
topped the Sabres with five blocked shots and 23:17 TOI … Thomas Vanek
took a team-high four of Buffalo’s 20 shots.
6:50- Good evening from the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC!
6:53- It was a beautiful 50 degree sunny day here in NC. Sabres fans are everywhere!
6:54- Starting lineups coming soon...
7:01- BUF starters: Vanek-Roy-Pominville ... Myers/Regehr ... Enroth
7:02- BUF scratches: Miller, McCormick, Brennan
7:04- CAR starters: Sutter/Dwyer/Ponikarovsky ... Allen/Gleason ... Boucher
7:05- Pitkanen and Joslin scratched for Carolina
7:08- Game on!
7:11- Anthony Stewart harmlessly flips a wrister at Enroth for the night's first shot.
7:15- Tonight's D pairings: 17/44, 24/57, 10/3
7:16- Sabres are 7-3-0 when scoring first -- Canes are 4-4-2
7:17- Leino with slick spin move feeds Boyes in front but he's turned away
7:19- 12:11 left in the 1st. Carolina holds a 4-3 edge in shots.
7:22- Tropp to the box for high sticking. Looked like the Carolina player was hit by his own teammate.
7:25- Fans in front of me chanting "We need Tebow." Yep, this is a great hockey crowd.
7:27- In-game contest gives a fan 30 mins to eat a fully loaded cheeseburger with 8 patties and side of fries. Kinda wish I could see him do it. What does he get for winning? Heartburn and 2 tickets to a future Canes game.
7:28- Sabres on the PP - Jokinen off for Slashing
7:30- Ehrhoff with a bomb from the point. Boucher sees it all the way
7:32- BUF 1-0: Pominville goes 9-iron from in tight to give the Sabres the lead. (13:04)
7:34- Vanek and Boyes with the assists on Pommer's PP tally.
7:35- In case you're wondering, the guy eating the big cheeseburger is about a third done with 21 mins to go.
7:40- Courtesy of Sabres PR guru @NickelCityIan - Vanek and Pominville have combined on a league-high 19 goals.
7:40- Great play by Gerbe to get back and deny Boychuk a scoring chance
7:41- 2:20 left in the 1st
7:42- Enroth stops Ruutu's snap shot from the circle
7:43- Gragnani taps the puck away from Stewart on what would have been a clear shot
7:43- 38.9 left in the 1st
7:45- End of 1: Sabres lead 1-0, and hold a 10-8 shot advantage.
7:49- Sabres lead 14-10 in faceoffs -- Gaustad (4-1), Roy (5-3)
7:53- Sabres are 5-1 when leading after 1 ... Carolina is 0-6-0 when trailing after 1
7:59- Pominville's goal extends his point streak to 6 games (3+5) .... Vanek's assist puts him on a 4-game streak (1+4).
8:02- Game on!
8:05- Correction: Vanek is on a 6-gm point streak (3+5)
8:06- Tropp with a big shot block in the slot, as Enroth was down and out behind him
8:08- Derek Roy
called for hooking at the 4:39 mark. Canes to the PP.
8:10- Jokinen's one-time attempt turns into a floater that Enroth has no trouble with.
8:12- Sabres being outshot 6-0 with 12:00 left in period
8:20- There's shot #1 of the period - by Corey Tropp
8:21- Myers rips one just wide
8:23- Matt Ellis
blast is turned away by Boucher
8:24- Nice waffle stop by Enroth!
8:27- 3:06 left in a fast-moving 2nd period. Canes leading in shots 9-3
8:31- Vanek digs the puck out of the corner and almost banks one off Boucher's skate from behind the icing line.
8:31- 1:09 remaining in period #2
8:34- Enroth dives out of the crease to smother the loose puck after a pair of good saves
8:35- End of 2nd: Sabres still lead 1-0
8:35- McBain draws the ire of the Sabres for his shot as the buzzer sounds.
8:52- Game on!
8:53- Enroth with a save early on Ruutu
8:58- Sabres being outshot 24-15 with 17:11 left in the 3rd
9:04- Even with 26 shots, the Canes have had very few second chance attempts tonight. Defense doing a good job of clearing out rebounds.
9:08- Good feed and patience by Leino from behind the net but Boyes can't convert
9:09- Vanek steps into the slot and fires the rebound - right at Boucher
9:10- TV timeout with 9:45 left
9:17- Another 4 minutes flies by with not much to report. 5:45 left
9:20- The big man is back! Myers drills Dwyer into the boards
9:21- Enroth kicks out the right pad to stop Staal, then the puck ends up under a pile in front
9:22- WOW! Enroth flashes the leather on McBain's point bomb.
9:24- Boyes misses on the partial break, and Stafford lifts the rebound over the net
9:24- 1:38 left
9:26- Larose called for holding. Sabres on the PP
9:28- Wraparound attempt by Harrison is stopped by Enroth
9:28- 20.8 seconds left
9:30- FINAL SCORE: BUFFALO 1-- CAROLINA 0