POWER-PLAY HELPS SABRES PAST LEAFS; BUFFALO REMAINS UNBEATENNews | 9/24/2011 10:13:39 PM | Warren Kosel
Coming off their 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, the Buffalo Sabres scored three power-play goals en route to a 3-2 victory tonight at the First Niagara Center, claiming the two-game sweep over their Northeast Division rivals and earning their fourth straight win in the 2011 preseason.
Second-year pro Luke Adam recorded two points (1+1), including the game-winning goal, and goaltender Jhonas Enroth made 19 saves on 21 shots for the Sabres, who remain the NHL’s best team in the preseason with a 4-0-0 record and have outscored their opponents 11-5 through the first four games.
Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski scored both goals for the Leafs, who fall to 2-3-0 in preseason play. Jonas Gustavsson turned aside 34 saves in the losing effort.
Drew Stafford gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead just 6:19 into the opening period with Buffalo’s first of three straight power-play markers. After Jordan Leopold’s shot from the point missed wide of Gustavsson, Tyler Ennis collected the rebound from behind the net and found Stafford at the goal-mouth unattended.
Toronto responded midway through the frame when Grabovski capitalized on Matt Frattin’s rebound in the high slot for his first of the night to tie things up at one apiece. After Frattin’s initial shot from the left wing side was denied by Enroth, the puck caromed out to Grabovski who swept in the rebound at 13:27.
The Sabres regained the lead in the second when newly acquired Christian Ehroff picked the top left corner of the net from the right point to put Buffalo on top, 2-1. With the man-advantage opportunity at their disposal, Adam gained possession of the puck in the left corner and found Tyler Myers at the left point. Myers then through a cross-ice pass down the blueline to Ehroff and his one-timer hit nothing but twine as it beat Gustavsson over his right shoulder.
Adam, the game’s first star, provided Buffalo with a two-goal cushion early in the final frame as he converted on a pass from Brad Boyes to make it a 3-1 contest. Thomas Vanek also assisted on the play.
Grabovski would add his second goal of the game at 12:21, but the Sabres would preserve their one-goal lead and hold on for the 3-2 win.
Buffalo looks for its fifth straight win on Sunday, September 25 as it visits the Columbus Blue Jackets at 5:00 p.m. Following that game, Buffalo doesn't play again until they travel to Washington on Friday to face the Capitals in a 7:00 p.m. start