WINNIPEG – It seems like Jhonas Enroth can’t catch a break.
In the 12 games the Buffalo Sabres netminder has earned decisions in this season, he’s allowed 32 goals but has gotten only 16 from his team in support.
The trend of little help from the offense continued as the Buffalo Sabres fell to the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 at MTS Centre on Tuesday. The Sabres have not won in Winnipeg since Feb. 10, 1993.
Keaton Ellerby, Jacob Trouba and Anthony Peluso tallied for the Jets in this New Year’s Eve match.
Enroth finished the game with 23 saves and he remains stuck on one win this year.
“It’s tough. He had three breakaways tonight and he stopped all of them,” Sabres forward Marcus Foligno said. “He’s played amazing. I don’t know if he’s snake-bitten with wins or we’re just not getting the job done. In front of Ryan Miller we are sometimes. But we definitely have to win for him. He’s a huge piece of our team and he battles every night.”
The Jets took a 1-0 lead with 9:18 remaining in the first period when Ellerby’s shot from the point made its way past Enroth.
It’s a goal Enroth said he’d like to have back.
“I saw it all the way. He literally threw a curve ball at me. It’s pretty tough,” he said. “It was a knucklepuck that pretty much dipped right in front of me. I just got a piece of it, but to me, it’s just bad luck, a bad bounce. Just a half-inch closer to me and it’s a save and we don’t talk about that anymore. But obviously that’s a goal, that’s a puck I should save.”
Trouba added to the lead with 6:44 to play in the second period.
Peluso put in an empty net goal with 1:28 remaining in the third period to make it 3-0.
Buffalo had its chances. Early in the game, it seemed as if they had made a concerted effort to generate traffic in front of Jets goaltender Al Montoya, who made 27 saves to earn the shutout.
“That’s what we were trying to do. Get bodies in front, try and get sticks on pucks,” Sabres forward Drew Stafford said. “We were close, but just not enough to get in so it’s unfortunate. That’s a tough one to take.”
The Sabres thought they had tied the game with 5:21 remaining in the first period. Marcus Foligno, parked in front of the net, put home a puck from inside the blue paint. However, Stafford bumped into the goal post while crashing the net and dislodged it.
The officials ruled that the net was off its moorings before the puck crossed the line and waved the goal off. The video review was inconclusive in determining whether the net was displaced prior to the puck entering the Winnipeg goal, therefore the referee's call on the ice stood.
Stafford called it a close call.
“Obviously I’m a little biased but it looks like it was a good goal, but they need enough [evidence] to overturn the call on the ice,” he said. “If they called it a goal on the ice and then reviewed it, it would’ve been different because if it’s inconclusive then the call on the ice stands. It’s just unfortunate that you get a little bit of a quick whistle and he called it off right away.”
Ville Leino left the game midway through the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return.
With defenseman Henrik Tallinder out for at least a week with an injury as well, the Sabres will call up two players from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. The Amerks are currently in Switzerland, where they competed in the Spengler Cup exhibition tournament.
“We’re going to fly in a couple of guys early. We have some guys that are banged up,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said.
Those two players are expected to join the team in Minnesota, where they’re slated to play the Wild on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.