Jhonas Enroth stopped all 26 shots he faced tonight to lead the Buffalo Sabres past the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 3-0 victory at First Niagara Center.
Ville Leino broke the scoreless tie early on in the second period, putting Buffalo on the board first. Cody Hodgson and Mike Weber both tallied an assist on the play. Weber went on to record assists on all three of Buffalo’s goals tonight.
Mikhail Grigorenko rifled one home to extend Buffalo’s lead midway through the third period to give the Sabres their second goal of the game. Grigorenko ended the night with 2 points including an assist, and continues to prove why he can be an integral role in the Sabres offensive production this season.
“I liked his game, he’s got a lot of skill” Sabres coach Ron Rolston on Grigorenko, “he can make plays and he’s got a great release on his shot.”
The story of the night was Buffalo’s defense, stopping multiple scoring chances, including a five-on-three shorthanded situation late in the second period. Jhonas Enroth looked great in net for Buffalo, earning the 26 save shutout for his team.
“It’s been good, we really haven’t practiced it a lot to tell you the truth.” Rolston said after the game about their penalty kill. “We really haven’t had the time. There’s a lot of sacrifice out there, we had a lot of good blocks from the guys you expect it from. Jhonas, I thought was real strong in there. He saw the puck the whole night even through traffic and made some real nice saves for us.”
With just under a minute to play, the young rookie, Zemgus Girgensons, finished the night off with an empty-netter to seal the Sabres victory. Buffalo improves their preseason record to 4-1-1, while Columbus falls to 4-2-1. The Sabres have not lost a preseason home game in regulation since September of 2007.
The Sabres finish off their preseason schedule against the Hurricanes this Friday at PNC arena in Carolina. The Canes will be looking for redemption after falling 5-2 to the Sabres in their first preseason meeting.
*Injury Update: Joel Armia left the game in the third period with an injury to his hand. Ron Rolston said after the game that he is unclear to the severity of the injury
*13 of Enroth’s 26 saves were shorthanded
*Buffalo killed all seven Columbus power plays
*Columbus out-shot Buffalo 26-24
*Buffalo went 0/3 on the power play
*Mikhail Grigorenko & Zemgus Girgensons have tied Marcus Foligno’s team-leading point total at 4 apiece on the preseason. Foligno still remains out with an injury