The decision to start Jhonas Enroth on Saturday paid off for head coach Lindy Ruff and the Buffalo Sabres as they knocked off the Senators, 3-2, in a shootout.
Enroth made 25 of 27 saves, and stopped four of six in the shootout as he improved his record to 4-0 on the year, as well as in shootouts.
However, it was Milan Michalek who began the scoring, putting the Senators on the board after getting through the Sabres defense and beating Jhonas Enroth with a backhand shot.
Derek Roy deflected a shot past Craig Anderson to get the Sabres on the board. It was Roy’s second of the season, with assists from Ville Leino and Andrej Sekera.
Just a couple minutes later, Buffalo took the lead, thanks to some impressive work along the boards by Nathan Gerbe. Jordan Leopold scored the goal, but Gerbe did the dirty work to put the Sabres up, 2-1.
Ottawa came right back, tying the game within minutes with Erik Condra’s first goal of the year. There wasn’t any more scoring in regulation, or in overtime, for that matter. The game marked the first time this season that the Sabres went into overtime.
Michalek and Jason Spezza each capitalized on their opportunity in the shootout, while Thomas Vanek and Brad Boyes did the same for Buffalo. After the first four shooters scored, none of the following seven did.
Enroth kept the Sabres alive, giving them four straight opportunities to win it, and eventually they did. It was Derek Roy who had the game-winner and the Sabres improved to 8-5 on the year, winning two in a row.
The Senators, who were a perfect 3-0 in shootouts and tied with the Sabres with 14 points coming into the game, fell to 7-8 on the season, dropping their third consecutive game.
With the win, Buffalo is an impressive 5-1 on the road. Enroth himself, improved to 8-0-2 in his past 10 road starts. The Sabres also killed off both penalties they took, remaining atop the league in penalty kill percentage at 93 percent.
Coupled with a Toronto loss, the Sabres now trail the Maple Leafs by three points in the Northeast Division. The Leafs were handed a 7-0 loss on home ice by the Bruins.
The Sabres will next faceoff against Winnipeg on Tuesday. Rick Jeanneret and Dale Hawerchuk will be inducted to the Sabres Hall of Fame prior to the game.