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Pair of early goals spark Sabres to 5-1 win over Ottawa

Friday, 11.11.2011 / 10:23 PM ET / THE AFTERMATH
By Kevin Snow  - (@kwsnow)
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Derek Roy and Matt Ellis scored 16 seconds apart in the first period to stake Buffalo to an early 2-0 lead, and the Sabres went on to win their fourth in a row with a 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators at First Niagara Center. Jordan Leopold, Luke Adam and Ville Leino scored Buffalo’s other goals.

Roy added a pair of assists to give him three points on the night, and now has eight points (4+4) during a four-game point streak. Drew Stafford chipped in three assists for his second multi-point effort of the season. Ellis’ goal snapped a 35-game drought, with his last coming on March 16, 2010 at Atlanta.

We played a smart, efficient game. We stayed inside. We didn’t mismanage pucks in the neutral zone. The guys worked harder at really supporting each other. - Lindy Ruff


Jhonas Enroth made 36 relatively easy saves to improve his perfect record to 5-0-0 this season. The only shot that got past him was a 50-foot rocket off the stick of Sergei Gonchar in the first period. Enroth is now 12-0-1 in his last 13 decisions, not having lost in regulation since a 1-0 defeat against Pittsburgh on November 24, 2010. The 23-year-old Swede is savoring every minute of his unbeaten run.

“I know I have to stay humble. Hockey is a sport that can turn so I’m just trying to go out there and play every game as if it would be my last.”

For Leino it was just his second goal of the season, and first since opening night in Helsinki against Anaheim. The goal wasn’t a thing of beauty, but Leino said it was only a matter of time.
“I’ve been feeling good the last six games, and it’s going to go in sooner than later,” said Leino. Good things will happen if you keep playing good and create scoring chances. I think it was just a matter of time.”

NOTES: Following up on Tuesday’s 6-5 win over Winnipeg, the Sabres have now scored five or more goals in consecutive games for the first time since October 13/16, 2009 … With Patrick Kaleta eligible to return to the lineup on Saturday in Boston, Ruff said after the game that Corey Tropp was being returned to Rochester. Tropp had two points (1+1) in his four game recall during Kaleta’s suspension.

6:50 - Good evening from the First Niagara Center! The Sabres (9-5-0) host the Ottawa Senators (7-8-1) in the first of three straight divisional matchups. Buffalo plays in Boston tomorrow night (7 p.m.), followed by a Monday night stop in Montreal (7 p.m.). They return home next Wednesday to play New Jersey.
7:01 - Both teams now on the ice for warmups. Sabres wearing special camouflage jerseys that will be up for bid on
7:02 - Any questions? I've got a few minutes to chat...
7:02 - Comment From sabres12. whos starting in net?
7:03 - Enroth is the expected starter tonight
7:03 - Comment From sabres12. any news on ennis?
7:03 - He's been skating lightly since Wed. Still listed as week-to-week
7:05 - Comment From Guest. Is Weber playing?
7:06 - He's not on the ice for warmups - but Gragnani is
7:07 - Comment From Guest. where can you get the sabres jerseys that they are wearing tonight?
7:07 - these jerseys are for warmups only, and will be auctioned off at
7:07 - Comment From guest. how is Myers?
7:08 - Still really tall
7:10 - Comment From Austrian Sabres Fan. do you think Vanek can get 40-50 goals this season
7:10 - The way he's playing now - yes
7:11 - Comment From Andrew. Thank you to the home town heroes of the 1982nd Forward Surgical Team who just returned from Afghanistan and will be coming back home to Buffalo on Sunday!
7:11 - Welcome home!
7:11 - Comment From guest. any news on Hecht?
7:12 - No new updates. He's been skating on his own.
7:15 - Thanks for the questions everyone. Let's chat again tomorrow when I'm in Boston.
7:15 - Warmups are just ending. Drew Stafford is the last player to leave the ice.
7:15 - We are 26 mins from the opening faceoff. There will a Veterans Day ceremony prior to the game.
7:19 - Be sure to check back after the game for more in-depth coverage of tonight’s game. We’ll have an enhanced version of the game blog complete with highlights, interviews and audio of Lindy Ruff’s post-game press conference.
7:21 - Let’s take a look at some of the storylines heading into tonight’s game:
7:22 - ** Second of six games between BUF and OTT this season. ** 108th meeting all-time: Buffalo leads the all-time series 54-39-14; 29-19-4 at home.
7:23 - ** Sabres looking to win 4th straight for first time this season (Last: Apr. 3-9, 2011). ** Thomas Vanek leads the league with 4 “first goals” of a game.
7:24 - ** Vanek and Milan Michalek are tied for the league lead with 3 multi-goal games. ** Eight of Buffalo’s 14 games have been decided by one goal.
7:25 - Sabres starters: Leopold/Regehr ... Gerbe/Gaustad/McCormick ... Enroth
7:25 - Sabres scratches: Weber, Kaleta, Ennis
7:26 - Ottawa starters: Kuba/Karlsson ... Michalek/Spezza/Greening ... Anderson
7:27 - Ottawa scratches: Brian Lee
7:28 - Chris Neil not playing for Sens either. Looks like he was placed on IR according to the team's official web site.

7:44 - Game on!
7:46 - GOAL!
7:47 - BUF 1-0: Derek Roy swoops in to tap home the rebound off Drew Stafford's wrist shot. (2:09)
7:47 - GOAL!
7:48 - BUF 2-0: Matt Ellis with his first of the year, backhanding the rebound past Anderson. (2:25)
7:49 - Say goodnight to Craig Anderson. He's been replaced by Alex Auld after allowing 2 goals on 6 shots.
7:50 - Tropp and McCormick with the helpers on Ellis' goal.
7:51 - Roy's goal gives him a 3-game scoring streak
7:53 - BUF 2-1: Gonchar uncorks a laser over Enroth's glove from about 40-ft away. (4:38)
7:56 - 12:52 left in the 1st -- time to catch our breath with a TV timeout. Sabres haven't had a shot on net since the Ellis goal.
7:59 - Vanek centers to Adam and nearly banks the pass into the net off a Sens defender.
8:04 - Tonight's Kiss Cam yielded yet another marriage proposal. She said yes!
8:06 - Corey Tropp with some good work down low in the Ottawa zone. This could be his last game with the big club, as Kaleta is eligible to return from his suspension tomorrow in Boston.
8:08 - According to NHL stats crew, the Sabres have yet to record a hit in this game
8:09 - Brad Boyes breaks the seal with Buffalo's first hit!
8:10 - Gerbe races down the left side and blasts a shot about 3 ft wide
8:10 - GOAL!
8:11 - 3-1: Leopold steps into the slot to finish off a one-timer from Stafford who did some serious work in Wayne Gretzky's office. (14:40)
8:12 - First Moe's, and now Subway subs. Sabres fans are going home fat and happy tonight!
8:12 - Roy also with an assist on Leopold's goal for his second point of the night.
8:15 - 4-on-4 hockey for the next 1:25
8:19 - Vanek headed to the box with his second penalty of the period. This time it's for holding.
8:21 - That's it for period 1: Sabres lead 3-1. Ottawa holds a 12-9 edge in shots.
8:39 - And away we go with period 2!
8:39 - Sabres were 16-5 on faceoffs in the 1st -- Gaustad was 7-0
8:43 - Enroth starts the period with a pair of big saves, incl a point blank glove grab on a Gonchar point blast
8:47 - Vanek with great play in deep to pick a Sens pocket nearly results in a scoring chance. He's got some silky mitts!
8:50 - Sabres on the PP - Cowan off for hooking at 7:38
8:52 - Big save by Enroth! Zack Smith nearly taps home the Condra pass
8:55 - 1 min left in the Sabres PP
8:56 - TV timeout with 8:12 left in the 2nd.
9:00 - Gaustad and Greening engage in a lively conversation after the whistle. Likely asking about each others weekend plans.
9:02 - Leino fires a shot from the point that Auld grabs easily. Gragnani had snuck in down low, forcing Leino to drop back and cover.
9:03 - Enroth stops Winchester, then gets run over by Ehrhoff who was shoved by Konopka. He's off to the box for goaltender interference
9:07 - Great puck movement by Sabres on PP. Puck was in Sens zone for the first 90 seconds of the penalty
9:09 - Enroth nearly hands Ottawa the puck when he mishandles the rubber behind the net
9:11 - End of 2: Sabres maintain their 3-1 lead, but get outshot 11-5. OTT leads 23-14 for the game.

9:29 - 3rd period is underway
9:31 - Stafford just crushed DaCosta along the sideboards. Are you listening Carubba?!
9:33 - Karlsson's stick just blowed up real good on his shot attempt. The blade helicoptered about 15 feet in the air afterwards.
9:35 - Boyes drives to the net but is tied up just enough to have his scoring chance thwarted
9:36 - GOAL!
9:37 - BUF 4-1: Adam barges into the slot and buries his 5th of the season after a nice pass from Vanek (4:00)
9:38 - Enroth breaks out the waffle again to redirect an Ottawa shot into the protective netting behind him
9:39 - GOAL!
9:40 - BUF 5-1: Stafford should get credit for this, as he was the last Sabre to touch the puck that fluttered over Auld and into the net. (4:57)
9:41 - NHL now reviewing play for possible high stick - but TV replays seem to prove it went in cleanly
9:42 - It's a good goal
9:43 - Goal now being credited to Leino - with assists to Stafford & Roy.
9:43 - Roy (1+2) and Stafford (0+3) each have 3 points tonight
9:45 - Sabres being outshot 5-2 this period -- but both of their shots have gone in the net
9:53 - 8:38 remaining in the 3rd period. Both teams hit the road right after tonight's game. The Sabres will take a short flight to Boston where they'll face the Bruins on Saturday; while Ottawa makes a quick drive up the QEW to play Toronto tomorrow.
9:55 - Enroth reaches back to snare the shot from Alfredsson in the crease
9:58 - Sabres have now scored 5+ goals in consecutive games for the first time this season.
10:02 - It's been more than 2 years since the Sabres had 5+ goals in consecutive games: October 13/16, 2009
10:04 - 1:52 left in the game.
10:05 - Last minute of play
10:06 - FINAL: Buffalo 5 - Ottawa 1
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