By Mike Harrington
Jhonas Enroth gets the call in goal tonight as the Sabres host the desperate-for-points Winnipeg Jets in First Niagara Center. After Friday's meltdown against the Rangers, it seems to make sense that Enroth would play tonight and in the finale here Friday against the Islanders with Ryan Miller getting the start on the road Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
No sense in pushing the frazzled relationship between Miller and Buffalo fans, right?
Interim coach Ron Rolston refused to go down that road when asked today if it was realistic to think Miller could play here anymore.
"Yes, it is realistic," was Rolston's cryptic answer.
So it's not automatic that Enroth plays tonight and Friday and Miller goes tomorrow?
Deep answers there for sure. For more on the impending divorce between Miller and Buffalo, be sure to catch up with Jerry Sullivan's column in Sunday's paper.
Enroth was a flop in relief of Miller Friday night, allowing four goals on 15 shots. But he's been terrific of late in a starting role, going 4-0-1 in his last five with a 1.37 goals-against average and .958 save percentage.
The Sabres did no line drills during their morning skate so there's no way to tell who Mikhail Grigorenko will play with in his return to the lineup. With the playoffs out of the picture, there would seem to be no reason to limit the 18-year-old to fourth-line minutes anymore.
The Jets have won five straight against the Sabres -- holding Buffalo to one goal in each of those games. They enter tonight three points behind both seventh-place Ottawa and the eighth-place New York Rangers in their bid for their first playoff spot since 2007, when the franchise was in Atlanta.
Winnipeg will be without two key players tonight as defenseman Zach Bogosian suffered a concussion in Saturday's shootout loss against the Islanders and center Olli Jokinen suffered a high ankle sprain in the same game and will be out 6-8 weeks.
Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in goal. He is 5-0-1 with a 2.26 GAA in his last six games -- and has a 1.00 mark while winning his last five against the Sabres.
The Jets are also three points behind Washington for the Southeast Division lead and a win tonight could set them up nicely for Tuesday's potential division-title showdown against the Caps in Verizon Center.