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SABRES LOOK FOR BETTER START AGAINST BOSTON

by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

Jhonas Enroth will once again be between the pipes Saturday night when the Buffalo Sabres host the Boston Bruins at First Niagara Center.

While 1-3-0 this season with a 3.18 goals against average and a .912 save percentage, Enroth has looked strong while facing a League-high 147 shots.

Through five games, the Sabres have been outshot 191-109 and in first periods alone, Buffalo has been at a 69-36 shot disadvantage. They’re giving up more shots than any other team in the NHL with an average of 38.2 shots against per game.

Coach Ted Nolan would like to see his team get off to better starts beginning Saturday night against the Bruins.

Before the team’s optional morning skate at First Niagara Center on Saturday, Nolan broke down video with the team of their five first periods.

“There’s only game where we came out of the first period outshooting the opposition so that’s a major concern and we look at our forwards. It’s not all about defense,” Nolan said. “It’s our forwards getting back in the defensive zone and helping out a little bit, not cheating too much on the offensive side.”

Support on both sides of the ice is one area that the team has addressed in meetings and practice. Now they need it to translate into game action. An emphasis was placed

“We need to support each other, talk a lot more, get pucks out of our zone a lot quicker and get on offense,” Sabres forward Brian Flynn said. “Turning the puck over in your own end never leads to good things so we’ve got to do a better job.”

Flynn will be back in the lineup for Buffalo and rookie Sam Reinhart will be a healthy scratch. Flynn has a goal and an assist in each of his past two home games against Boston.

Nolan said he’ll likely shuffle some of the lines and it looks like the defense will stay the same. That would mean Tyson Strachan and Nikita Zadorov would join Reinhart as scratches.

Sticking with Enroth against the Bruins was an easy decision for Nolan.

“That’s one bright spot. Jhonas has been playing great for us,” he said. “Sometimes when goalies get on a roll, you let them roll so he’ll go right back in tonight.”

Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with the Tops Gamenight pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m. on MSG-B and FX Canada. The game can also be heard live on WGR 550.


QUICK TURNAROUND
Buffalo hopes to bounce back from their 1-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday. Saturday’s game against the Bruins will wrap up the second of 18 back-to-back sets this season for Buffalo.

The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their past 10 games against the Bruins and 6-3-1 in their past 10 at First Niagara Center.

“We don’t want to wait any longer than we have to to try and turn this thing around. We’re very lucky we get another chance here to right the ship,” forward Drew Stafford said. “The past is the past. We’re focused on Boston and having a great start.”

Stafford is very familiar with the Sabres-Bruins rivalry. He has 12 goals and 13 assists in 42 career games against Boston.

The Bruins are 2-4-0 so far this season and coming off a 6-4 loss in Montreal on Thursday, so the Sabres know they’ll be coming in hungry.

“It’s always a good rivalry there. There’s searching for wins over there as well,” he said. “They’re desperate so I’m excepting a physical, same-old Boston Bruins type of game tonight. It’s a big challenge for us and that’s the beauty of this thing, we get another chance right away to hopefully put things back in our favor.”

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