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)
Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, noon
NY Rangers at Washington, 3
Montreal at Boston, 7
Los Angeles at San Jose, 10:30