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Photo courtesy of AP.

Jets dump Sabres 2-1



Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- Hello once again from the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box at First Niagara Center. Since the last time we talked the Buffalo Sabres were still in playoff contention, but while I was off last Friday the team was officially eliminated from the postseason and now will play out the string over their last three games. Tonight Buffalo welcomes the Winnipeg Jets to town, who are still alive for the playoffs. Their slim hopes rest here tonight.

Jhonas Enroth will get the start in goal, and Mikhail Grigorenko will re-join the lineup after being sent to the Quebec Major Junior League. Grigorenko was recalled following the Quebec Ramparts season, but has not suited up since the recall. For more, check out Paul Hamilton's pregame primer here.

Feel free to leave you comments in the thread below. I will add my two cents as the night moves along, in addition to the scoring plays. I also add my thoughts on Twitter: @PatWGR. While you are there, give Brian Koziol a follow: @BrianWGR.

First Period

20:00 - Late arriving crowd. There are empty seats aplenty tonight.

17:28 - Jhonas Enroth made a nice glve save falling onto his backside. It was an all or nothing play for the goaltender, and for him it was a good save.

9:46 - The Jets have had the better of the play. Much better than Buffalo so far. Shots are 7-2, Winnipeg.

8:42 - Steve Ott goes to the box for cross checking. It is the first penalty of the game. Man, this period has flown by.

5:01 - Here comes a penalty shot for Evander Kane as he was dragged down to a chop from Andrej Sekera.

5:01 - Enroth got a piece of the shot, along wth a lot of the crossbar to keep the game scoreless. Evander Kane does not score on the chance.

2:34 - The Sabres have gained some momentum since the penalty shot, and Tyler Ennis just missed a good chance at the side of the net. It was not an easy shot, but Ennis clanked one off of the post on a wide open chance.

End of Period

BUF - 0, WPG - 0

Goal Summary

BUF: none
WPG: none

Shots on Goal

BUF - 4, WPG - 14

Second Period
 
17:25 - The Sabres have come out firing this frame. They have had two or three scoring chances so far.

15:58 - John Scott takes a high sticking minor to give Winnipeg another chance on the power play. They did not have much going in the first period on the man advantage.

12:18 - JETS GOAL. A busted coverage play allows Aaron Gagnon to stand alone in front of the net and tip a pass into the top corner of the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Mike Weber and Kevin Porter did not help out their goaltender. 1-0 WPG.

8:22 - Buffalo going to the power play for the first time tonight thanks to a minor by Blake Wheeler.

8:03 - SABRES GOAL. That did not take long. First it was a Drew Stafford skip pass to Tyler Ennis, then Ennis to Thomas Vanek cutting through the middle to tie the game. Vanek has such great hands to tip the puck. They should not get rid of him in the offseason. He is a guy you build around. 1-1 tie.
 
4:37 - PING! The puck gets behinf Enroth and goes directly off of the post. Score remains 1-1 thanks to the bounce.

End of Period

BUF - 1, WPG - 1

Goal Summary

BUF: 11:57 - Thomas Vanek (18) PPG (Tyler Ennis, Drew Stafford).
WPG: 7:42 - Aaron Gagnon (3) (Derek Meech, Dustin Byfuglien).

Shots on Goal

BUF - 10 (14), WPG - 14 (29)

Third Period

15:32 - This period feels much like the opening twenty minutes...not a ton going on with time just evaporating off of the clock.

9:36 - Shots on goal are 7-6 Jets, and the scoring chances have to be even this frame also.
 
7:36 - JETS GOAL. Of all of the nice saves Enroth has made tonight, he lets one slide through under his wing and it gives Winnipeg the lead. Antti Miettinen gets the goal on the wrist shot from inside the blue line. 2-1 WPG.

4:59 - Buffalo has been buzzing, but Andrej Pavelec has been up to the task. Some good action in the Jets' zone.

1:53 - What fans are left are still into the game and hoping for a game tying goal from the blue and gold. Shots are 11-10, Buffalo.

End of Game

Winnipeg 2, Buffalo 1

Goal Summary

BUF: none
WPG: 12:24 - Antti Miettinen (3) (James Wright, Mark Stuart)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 11 (25), WPG - 10 (39)

Final Thoughts

Several players should not be just playing out the string here, but it was hard to find bright spots in the first or third periods. I guess the play of Jhonas Enroth was the lone bright spot in the first period. If it were not for a couple of big saves, the game would have been out of hand early on. Mikhail Grigorenko played well overall. There were a couple lapses in his defensive play, but all in all I liked his game tonight. The rookie made a few very good plays on the offensive end that made up for a few miscues on the back end. Next up is a date with the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night in the Steel City. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog begins at 6:30 p.m.

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People : Brian KoziolJhonas EnrothMikhail GrigorenkoPaul Hamilton
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