Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

Tyler Ennis: “We Want That Feeling More!”

Filed under: Puck Stop, Sports

TORONTO… It was a star studded cast down on the ice last night at the Air Canada Centre, as a bevy of incumbent Hall-of-Famers and the Toronto Maple Leafs honored the five members who will enter the Hockey Hall of Fame in the 2010 class. Dino Ciccarelli joins first-time female nominees Cammi Granato and Angela James. Jimmy Devellano and Daryl “Doc” Seaman were elected as “builders.”

When the game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs finally got underway, the Sabres, with Jhonas Enroth getting the start, played with heart and desire in trying to lift a huge weight off of their collective shoulders and get that win to break a five game losing streak. The final score was 3-2, Buffalo, with the win coming via shootout.

Buffalo played a strong first period, but Mihail Grabovski’s one timer in the closing seconds gave the Leafs a 1-0 lead. Toronto made it 2-0 in the second period, when Buffalo’s Derek Roy lost his stick and failed to clear the zone. Nikolai Kulemin’s wrist shot from the slot found its way behind Enroth.

But Roy found redemption a few minutes later, scoring from a pileup in the goal mouth which closed the deifcit to 2-1 as the team headed into the second intermission.

In the third period, the Sabres played with a sense of desperation, but could not capitalize on their limited scoring chances, with shots on goal for both teams in the sngle digits. The Sabres pulled their goaltender with 44 seconds to go, and with 13.1 seconds left in the frame, Jochen Hecht buried a rebound, his first goal of the season, to tie the score at two. “Jo did a good job putting that one home,” said Tyler Ennis. “I knew Pommer was going to pass it back, but the shot got through to Timmy, and then the puck got to the far post. I had to whack at it twice but it got across the line,” explained Hecht in describing the tying goal.

Neither team mustered much of a scoring threat during the overtime and this game went to a shootout.

The shootout went five rounds. Enroth stopped Chris Versteeg, Phil Kessel, Clarke MacArthur and Tomas Kaberle cold, allowing only one goal, that a deek by John Mitchell in the third round. On Buffalo’s side, Thomas Vanek scored in the second round. And then in the 5th, in came Ennis for the win. Ennis took the puck in close and buried the slap shot past Jean Sebastian Giguere. “It was a great feeling the entire bench was so excited. We want that feeling more.” Added Lindy Ruff, “Ennis made a great move on Giguere.”

“It was a really big game for me. I hope I could build my season from there,” added Jhonas Enroth, who recorded his first NHL win.

Ruff tried to keep this game in perspective. “Obviously we were overdue. It was nice to just get a win.”This game mirrored last night’s game. It was a real close game. This is what the league is. Our nemesis right now is not being able to win at home. We need to win home games.”

“That late goal sparked us more than anything,” Ruff said referring to Derek Roy’s goal in the second period. “Halfway through the period we got our game going and we generated some pretty good opportunities. There are a few guys who want to enjoy it. As a team we need to enjoy this. It all starts with one win.”

Next up it’s two road games for the Sabres, at New Jersey and at the New York Rangers on Wednesday and Thursday, before returning home next Saturday to face Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at HSBC Arena. The team is still seeking its first home win this season.