Perhaps the biggest game of the season for both teams, Carolina and Buffalo were set to battle for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. However, earning at least one point would have propelled the Sabres to 7th.
Jhonas Enroth’s 35 saves were a career-high as he led Buffalo to a 2-1 overtime victory at the RBC center in Carolina.
Chris Butler scored his first goal of the season and fourth of his career to put the Sabres on top, 1-0. It was Butler’s 1st goal in 69 games. Drew Stafford earned his 100th career assist on the goal, along with a helper from Tyler Ennis as well.
The officiating took control of the second period, and Carolina had plenty of opportunities because of it.
After a shot went off Jhonas Enroth’s mask, play continued on. Enroth made a motion to the officials, but there was no whistle. Enroth threw his helmet off, and then made the save of the game with his right pad.
Later on, after Enroth covered the puck, Jussi Jokinen didn’t let up when trying to pry the puck free. No penalty was called. Jokinen did take a boarding penalty late in the period after drilling Andrej Sekera into the boards.
Marc-Andre Gragnani couldn’t have scored his first career goal at a better time. After a deflection, the puck found its way pas Cam Ward and into the net for the Sabres victory.
The win puts the Sabres in 7th place ahead of the Rangers by just a point. Buffalo are just one point behind Montreal for 6th. Meanwhile, Carolina now trails New York by two points.
It was a huge win for the Sabres, and with three games to go, all they have left to do is clinch a spot.
The Sabres come home to host Tampa Bay on Tuesday.