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Game #78 & #79 Weekend Recap: Must-Win Weekend Starts Out Hinky, Ends Up Hunky-Dory

04/04/11
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When was the last time Sabres fans could say their team would be able to collect 3 out of 4 points from a back-to-back without Ryan Miller in net?

Yeah, 2006/2007 was a long time ago, wasn’t it. Well, the Sabres have a back-up who can win games for them again and he’s doing it in fabulous style. After I wrote a column about how Enroth would have to be sharp in his first NHL back-to-back, bad rebounds and ugly bounces doomed the Sabres versus the Capitals. Against the Hurricanes, Enroth bounced back in style with dynamite saves and that famous composure of his. He’ll need to keep channeling that icy calm of his in order to ride out the rest of his rookie season in style if he has to keep filling in for a Ryan Miller (more on that later today here at Black & Blue & Gold).

How about exciting and unexpected goals? Paul Gaustad and Chris Butler demonstrated some nifty tallies this weekend to wow and delight Sabres fans while Marc-Andre Gragnani scored his first-ever NHL goal at the best possible time – in OT during a must-win game. Gaustad is now only one goal away from his annual 12 goal output, which is the kind of consistency a bottom six center who can win faceoffs teams love.

There have been a few lows to be temporarily dejected about (continually coughing up leads, inability to sustain forecheck) but in the end the team is getting it done. This is a team that is figuring out how to play winning hockey at the right time. The Sabres have only three games left, but they need two of those to be filed in the “W” column to lock up their spot in the playoffs. With the chemistry and special teams all coming together in the home stretch, Sabres fans are ready for the post-season a week early.

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