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Enroth set to make rare start in net for Sabres; Hecht agitated over likelihood of being healthy scratch

By John Vogl

NEWARK, N.J. -- Jhonas Enroth will make a rare appearance in the Sabres' net. Jochen Hecht may make an ever rarer appearance on the healthy-scratch list.

Enroth will start for the first time since Feb. 5 tonight when the Sabres face the New Jersey Devils. Enroth is 0-2 this season and is on an 0-10-2 skid. He hasn't won since Nov. 26, 2011.

Ryan Miller will sit after making 14 straight starts.

"We felt this was a good opportunity to get him in there," interim coach Ron Rolston said of Enroth, who was not made available to the media. "He’s done a good job since I’ve been here working with [goalie coach] Jim Corsi and really for him right now his practices are his games. Again, we’ve had limited practice times, but in those situations he’s certainly done a good job for us and merits an opportunity.

"Most importantly for us, we want to play well, play well in front of Jhonas. All along since I’ve been here, our job is to make the goaltender’s game easier than it has been. Whether it’s Ryan or Jhonas, we want to do a good job in front of him and be consistent and keep working on our game."

The goaltending matchup in Prudential Center will be the struggling Enroth against Johan Hedberg, who is 0-6-1 in his last seven decisions.

"He’s been working really hard in practice," Sabres right wing Drew Stafford said of Enroth. "Obviously, it’s part of his job to always stay ready. He’s done that. It’s good to see him in there, and hopefully we can have a good game in front of him and give him a big win."

It appears Hecht will not be in front of Enroth. The veteran forward, who is in his 10th season with the Sabres, skated after practice with injured Jordan Leopold and Ville Leino and healthy defense scratch Adam Pardy.

Enforcer John Scott took Hecht's spot on a line with center Mikhail Grigorenko and Stafford. Rolston would not confirm Scott will play.

Initial research indicates Hecht, who was a two-time captain under coach Lindy Ruff, has never been a healthy scratch in Buffalo.

"No comment. Talk to the guys that are playing," the 35-year-old told The Buffalo News.

"Jochen is a smart player," Rolston said. "He plays very smartly, does whatever you need, and he’s played well lately. We’ve had him in a situation where he’s been with Mikhail, so he can provide that stability, I think, on that line along with Staff as wingers, like a veteran presence.

"He’s very even-keeled in terms of game situations. No matter what’s happened, you’re going to get the same product on the ice. I think that helps the transfer over to Grigo on the bench, talking to him and just making sure he’s calm all the time and making sure he’s where he needs to be when he goes over the boards."

Ron Rolston

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |