Ennis, Leino lead Sabres to 3-2 win over Devils
- Article by: NICK MENDOLA
- Associated Press
- April 1, 2014 - 9:35 PM
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tyler Ennis scored twice in the third period and again in the shootout to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.
Ville Leino had the winner in the ninth round of the shootout and Nathan Lieuwen made 33 saves for his first NHL win.
Dainius Zubrus gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 8:16 of the second period and Tuomo Ruutu tipped Andy Greene's shot past Lieuwen at 6:58 of the third to tie it 2-2.
The Devils, 0-11 this season in shootouts, are three points out of the Eastern Conference's final wild card spot.
Cory Schneider made 25 saves for New Jersey.
The Devils outshot Buffalo 10-8 in the opening period, but dominated possession and had the best chances.
New Jersey broke the deadlock in the second, when Michael Ryder's cross-crease pass appeared to be knocked into the Sabres goal by Jamie McBain. The goal was awarded to Zubrus.
Lieuwen returned to form after the goal, making a diving stick save on Ryder to keep the score 1-0. Moments later, he stopped Ruutu on a partial breakaway.
The Sabres managed just four shots in the second period.
Buffalo got the equalizer 1:39 into the third period on a play started by Drew Stafford and completed by a cross-slot pass from Leino to Ennis, who scored on a wrist shot to become the first Sabres player to score 20 goals this season.
Buffalo took its first lead of the night on a power play just over three minutes later. Cody Hodgson slid a pass through several players to Ennis, who shot high into the net at 4:41.
The Devils attempted to counter off the ensuing face-off, but Lieuwen stopped Jagr twice.
New Jersey tied the score on the power play, when Ruutu deflected Greene's shot past Lieuwen.
Stafford and McBain had quality scoring chances in overtime, but Schneider foiled both.
Lieuwen made back-to-back stops on Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias with just over a minute left in overtime.
Leino had not scored a goal all season in regulation and has been the subject of catcalls in Buffalo, but drew a roar of approval with his shootout tally.
NOTES: Stafford was selected as the Sabres' Masterton Trophy nominee by the Buffalo Chapter of the Pro Hockey Writers Association earlier Tuesday. ... New Jersey LW Ryan Clowe missed the game with a head injury sustained Monday against Florida. ... Buffalo signed 2012 third-round pick Justin Kea to a three-year, entry level contract before the game.
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