Winnipeg 2 - Buffalo 1
Monday, April 22, 2013
First Niagara Center
Winnipeg hasn’t been an easy opponent for the Buffalo Sabres of late. The Jets showed why Monday night.
Fighting for their playoff lives, Winnipeg skated into First Niagara Center and extended its winning streak against the Sabres to six games with a 2-1 win. Buffalo has scored just one goal in each of those six games, a streak that dates back to the beginning of last season.
Jhonas Enroth was the game’s first star, stopping 37 of 39 shots, but took the loss in net. Enroth falls to 4-1-1 in his last six starts while maintaining a .956 save percentage and a 1.47 goals against average. Thomas Vanek scored the Sabres only goal, his 18th of the season, and with it moved into sixth place on the Sabres all-time scoring list, passing Mike Foligno with 248 career goals.
The Jets sit just one point back of the idle New York Rangers for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with two games to go following the win. The Rangers eliminated the Sabres from contention Friday.
Buffalo will close out its season Friday at home against the New York Islanders following a trip to Pittsburgh tomorrow night.
Both teams went scoreless in the first period. Enroth, however, was kept busy, making a handful of big saves throughout to keep the Jets off the board. His biggest save came with five minutes left when he turned aside Evander Kane on a penalty shot. Winnipeg outshot Buffalo, 14-4.
After Winnipeg’s Aaron Gagnon broke the scoreless tie at the 12:18 mark, Thomas Vanek’s 18th goal of the season pulled the Sabres even again five minutes later. The play started from the left corner, where Drew Stafford slung the puck cross-ice to Tyler Ennis, who then found Vanek in the slot with a perfect pass for the power-play goal. The Sabres were outshot 14-10 in the period.
Antti Miettinen scored the eventual game-winner with 7:36 remaining in the period. Buffalo held an 11-10 advantage in shots.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS:
Vanek’s power-play goal was his ninth this season, tying him for third-most in the NHL. ... Tyler Ennis extended his point streak to four games (1+4) with an assist on Vanek’s goal; Drew Stafford pushed his to three games (1+2). ... Mikhail Grigorenko accumulated 15:18 in ice time, his second-highest total this season. ... This was the 51st game all-time between Buffalo and Winnipeg/Atlanta; Buffalo leads the series, 21-19-11. ... The Sabres are 14-8-4 all-time at home against Winnipeg/Atlanta.
BUFFALO’S REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS:
Time on Ice: Christian Ehrhoff, 23:38
Shots: Thomas Vanek, 6
Blocked Shots: Six tied with 1
Hits: Mike Weber, 5
Faceoff Wins: Mikhail Grigorenko, 9
Total Faceoffs: Cody Hodgson, 18 (8-10)
BUFFALO’S RECORD WHEN...
When opponent scores first: 5-17-2
Tied after the second period: 8-6-0
When outshot by opponent: 15-15-2
Game decided by one goal: 12-9-6
Overall: 23/160 (14.4%)
Home: 13/79 (16.5%)
Overall: 135/171 (79%)
Home: 59/75 (78.7%)
* Tuesday at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
* Friday vs. New York Islanders, 7 p.m.