Eichel, Ennis pave way

The Buffalo Sabres showed up to play and put together a nice 60-minute effort against the Dallas Stars, leading to a 4-1 victory at the KeyBank Center.

Tyler Ennis didn’t waste any time finding the scoresheet. After missing 30 games due to injury, Ennis ripped a shot past Kari Lehtonen just 19 seconds into the game.

“That’s how I planned it,” Ennis joked. “It’s a good feeling for sure.”

Jack Eichel scored two goals for Buffalo, including an empty-netter with 10 seconds remaining to seal the game. He had 10 shots on goal. For his first goal, Eichel stayed out of a pile in front of the net and tapped in a pass from Sam Reinhart for a power play goal, giving Buffalo a 3-1 lead.

Eichel could have added an assist as he showed off his strength on the puck, then carried it and drew a penalty on the play. The puck went in the net, but it was ruled that the whistle had already blown, resulting in no goal. It was a quick whistle, but the Sabres would later get that favor back.

Jake McCabe helped the Sabres capitalize on the ensuing power play, blasting a home a shot from the point for his first goal of the season. He took advantage of a turnover and made the Stars pay.

“We’ve all been there,” McCabe said. “I’m sure I’ve made a pass like that too, glad to get the monkey off my back. “I thought we played a pretty solid 60 minutes. I thought we did a good job managing the puck and kept them contained offensively.”

The Stars appeared to have tied the game at two, but head coach Dan Bylsma challenged that the Stars were offside on the play, and the no goal ruling went against Dallas.

The lone Stars’ goal came from Jiri Hudler as he took a shot that bounced over Robin Lehner’s shoulder and in.

Lehner was strong in net for his first game back after missing a few. He stopped 31 of 32 shots. At the other end, Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 of 28.

The Sabres came out hot in this game, putting on all kinds of pressure and creating numerous opportunities. Ryan O’Reilly cranked a shot off the pipe and Lehtonen made two big saves on Eichel in the opening 10 minutes.

The Sabres are right back at it on Tuesday night as they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs. That game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.

Kevin Freiheit
Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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