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Miller out with sinus infection; Enroth to start against Rangers

By Mike Harrington

The Sabres had plenty of roster moves to make in advance of tonight's game against the New York Rangers but interim coach Ron Rolston surprised the media during his morning briefing with another one: Jhonas Enroth will start in goal for the Sabres tonight because Ryan Miller has a sinus infection.

Miller will serve as backup and he's expected to be fine for the weekend; the Sabres are off until Ottawa is here Saturday. Enroth, of course, came within 6 1/2 minutes of a shutout Thursday in New Jersey before leaving with coffee-induced cramps.

"We sealed the coffee lids," Rolston joked.

What's no joke is the coach wants to see the backup -- who remains winless since Nov. 26, 2011 -- try to put together a second straight solid game.

"He's got to build off that game," Rolston said. "We'd like to see players be able to put things back-to-back, whether it's him or Grigorenko. Their job is to put the same product out there every night. ... I know it was one of the best games I've seen him play since I've been in the organization and we certainly want him to build off that."

Enroth is 1-1-1 in his career against the Rangers with a 2.31 goals against average, a .917 save percentage and his first NHL shutout, a 1-0 win over the Blueshirts here on March 23, 2011. He has not started at First Niagara Center since a 2-1 overtime loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 7, 2012. He's 0-10-3 in 16 appearances since his last win, a 5-1 triumph over Washington on Nov. 26, 2011.

Tyler Ennis will also sit out tonight's game after taking his hit from behind Sunday in Philadelphia, with Mikhail Grigorenko coming in for him. Ville Leino will continue to be out of the lineup. T.J. Brennan will be a healthy scratch and Jordan Leopold will be in for the first time since Feb. 17.

Rolston said they Sabres want to make sure Leino is ready to play and having more days to practice this week will allow him to get on a line during practice. They have a roster crunch too to make room for Leino; neither Kevin Porter or Brian Flynn or going back to Rochester any time soon.

"We want that around here," Rolston said. "We want players to make it tough on us to make those decisions. That's the most important thing."

For more from Rolston, including thoughts on Rangers forward J.T. Miller, whom he coached in the U.S. Development Camp, and retiring Boston University legend Jack Parker, click the audio file below.

Ron Rolston

tagged

Andrej Sekera | Jhonas Enroth | Ron Rolston | Ryan Miller
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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 | jvogl@buffnews.com

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 | mharrington@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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