The Sabres failed to gain any momentum from their win against the Panthers on Friday and their troubles at home continued last night as they faced the New York Rangers at the First Niagara Center. The story of the night was Carl Hagelin, netting two for the Rangers on only three shots. Hagelin, playing in just his eighth NHL game received the first star at the end of the game.
Jhonas Enroth’s performance has been slipping as of late and he fared no better against the Ranger’s last night. The puck got by Enroth four times, two of which were scored shorthanded.
“I think I could have given up one goal,” Enroth said. “That’s three goals I needed to save. That’s pretty bad.”
On the other end of the ice, former Sabre Marty Biron got the start between the pipes for the Rangers turning away 32 of 33.
“It’s a lot of fun to play here,” Biron said. “There’s always a lot of energy, the atmosphere is always great and it’s always a high tempo game. It’s definitely a great feeling to play in here and win.”
Hagelin opened up the scoring 11:34 into the second period with a shorthanded goal that beat Enroth glove side. The Sabres responded quickly scoring 64 seconds later with a goal from Thomas Vanek, but it would end up being their only goal of the night. Sabres had plenty of scoring chances and played a high energy game but just could not get it done against the Rangers.
“Scoring one goal is not good enough,” Vanek said after the game. “On special teams, you don’t have to score, you just want to create some positive momentum and today it cost us the game.”
The second shorthanded goal scored by the Rangers seemed to demoralize Buffalo coming late in the second period. Christian Ehrhoff made a bad pass at the Ranger’s blue line that gave Ryan Callahan an opportunity to score on the Sabres’ power play. Ehrhoff did not quit on the play and covered Callahan breaking towards the Sabres’ net, but Callhan managed to get it by Enroth.
“I played the 1 on 1 like I wanted to” Ehrhoff said. “He did a great job, got his butt out and protected the puck and put a spinner on net that went through. You can’t win in this league if you give up two goals on your power play.”
The victory last night gave the Rangers franchise their 2500th regular season win, becoming one of few NHL teams to do so.
The Sabres have dropped seven of their last nine home games. They finish off their home stand this week with Ottawa on Tuesday and Toronto on Friday.