No Ryan Miller? No problem. Jhonas Enroth turned in one of his most impressive performances tonight, holding off 36 of 39 shots by the Dallas Stars.
Offense and penalties? Now those are still a problem for the Buffalo Sabres, who fell 3-2 in a frantic contest inside the American Airlines Center.
Buffalo was forced to play shorthanded six different times throughout the game, while only being granted one power play opportunity of their own. The Sabres’ penalty kill was nearly perfect on the night, but the one instance where it faltered proved to be their downfall on the scoreboard.
Stars left winger Jamie Benn, fresh off of a stellar performance for Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics, unleashed a blistering slapshot at 10:25 of the third period that snuck by Enroth and finished as the game-winning goal. It was his second tally on the night; his first came just one minute and thirty seconds into the second period on an equally thunderous slap shot.
Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski secured his third goal of the year with under six seconds left in the middle frame, tapping in the puck past Enroth after Dallas bombarded the Sabres’ netminder with shots as the clock ran down.
Buffalo’s only offense came from Tyler Ennis, who finished the night with two goals and five shots on net. His first came at 17:17 in the opening period as he polished off a two-on-one opportunity with Drew Stafford. His second came early in the third as he was camped at the side of the net to poke in the puck after it ricocheted off the end boards on a shot by Matt Moulson.
Moulson, who had been missing from practice earlier the day, leading some fans to believe that another pre-game trade had occurred, assisted Ennis on both goals.
The loss snapped Buffalo’s three-game winning streak, but gave former head coach Lindy Ruff his 600th career victory behind an NHL bench.
The Sabres will next head to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning for their second of their current three-game road trip. That game is scheduled for 7:30 from the Tampa Bay Times Forum.