Star of the Night: Buffalo’s Ennis ends OT win in Philadelphia

The Buffalo Sabres are now on the verge of the first upset of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.

They have Tyler Ennis to thank for putting them one win away from the second round.

Ennis’ second goal of the night last night beat Philadelphia goaltender Michael Leighton 5:31 into overtime, as the Sabres downed the Flyers, 4-3, to take a 3-2 series lead back to Buffalo for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

For his efforts, Ennis is the TheBruinsBlog.net Star of the Night.

Things looked dicey for the Sabres for a while after they squandered all of a 3-0 lead. But then the determined Ennis stepped up. As John Vogl wrote in the Buffalo News today:

Ennis’ exuberance started prior to overtime. He was already picturing the victory celebration. He’d seen enough OT playoff games growing up to know the goal-scorer gets all the attention. As he sat through intermission, he knew he wanted to be that guy.

“I think everyone was really excited,” Ennis said. “I know I was. I haven’t been in too many NHL overtime games. I know I just really wanted to score the winner. I just wanted to be that guy to score it.”

He did exactly what he wanted to do. And now the seventh-seeded Sabres are where they wanted to be, one win away from eliminating the defending Eastern Conference champs.

Honorable mention: Ryan Miller (36-for-39 saves) of Buffalo; Andrej Meszaros (1-1-2) of Philadelphia; Jerred Smithson (GWG OT) and Shea Weber (GTG with 0:36 left in regulation) of Nashville; Jason Blake (2G) of Anaheim.

Last night’s scores

Buffalo 4, Philadelphia 3 (OT)

Nashville 4, Anaheim 3 (OT)

Today’s games

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, noon

NY Rangers at Washington, 3

Montreal at Boston, 7

Los Angeles at San Jose, 10:30

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