While the New York Rangers may have King Henry manning the crease for them, he was no match tonight for the Buffalo Sabres and Emperor Enroth.
In what was probably a very tough decision, Ryan Miller was pulled from the lineup with a day to day upper body injury. How many of you reading this hit the panic button? I did, but I was a little more comfortable knowing Lalime was not going to be the starting goaltender. I had faith in Jhonas Enroth, and he delivered. Coming into the game cold, he quickly shook the rust off and put on a stellar performance registering his first shutout of his NHL career.
The Buffalo Sabres probably caught the biggest brake of the night, as the Rangers had appeared to have scored, but the goal was waved off for goaltender interference. It was the closest the Rangers came to figuring out Enroth all night.
The Buffalo Sabres needed this victory for several reasons. The first and foremost – how many Buffalo Sabres fans are now a little more comfortable with the backup goaltender situation. How many rookie goaltenders could come in in a playoff like pressure cooker atmosphere, face the New York Rangers and walk away with a perfect game? The Buffalo Sabres also needed the big two points because Carolina also picked up two points.
So the bad news is the Carolina Hurricanes are still within striking distance of a playoff spot. The good news is, the Buffalo Sabres are tied with the New York Rangers – and are now only two points behind the Montreal Canadiens. Sixth place is still within grasp. With just five games remaining the regular season, it would take a fail of mini epic proportions for the Buffalo Sabres to not make the playoffs. Its not an easy road to the playoffs by any stretch of the means, the Sabres still have to walk through the Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, and Tampa Bay Lightning – all playoff teams. The Sabres also face the Carolina Hurricanes, who unfortunately cannot be counted out yet, and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Follow the entire network from the mother of all NHL sites Too Many Men.
Tune in every Sunday to Rink Side Rants the only live podcast on the Fansided Network!