By Mike Harrington
NEWARK, N.J. -- In the wake of Friday's 3-2 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Sabres are staying off the ice this morning and meeting in their hotel prior to tonight's game in the Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils.
Jhonas Enroth is expected to be in goal and Mikhail Grigorenko and Brayden McNabb are expected to return to the lineup after serving as healthy scratches Friday night. It's possible Cody McCormick could return to the lineup as well. We'll have to wait until interim coach Ted Nolan's update around 5 p.m. for confirmation of the moves.
Tonight's game is the first of three this year against New Jersey. The Devils won two of three meetings last year -- with all the games going to shootouts.
For entertainment value, there's just about nothing like a Sabres-Leafs game in Buffalo and last night was no exception. The crowd, a pro-Leafs one, was rocking all night but the Sabres fans responded in OT to Christian Ehrhoff's game-winner, which produced a shower of beer cans to the ice from the Toronto faithful.
The Sabres were having some pretty good chuckles in their locker room over that whole scene. Captain Steve Ott captured it hysterically with this take-that tweet (and look at the numbers of RTs and favorites he's getting!)
Thanks to the Toronto fans that donated their Tall Boys, we had the trainers grab them for a nice day off. #Classy— Steve Ott (@otterN9NE) November 30, 2013
Incredibly enough, the Ehrhoff shot went right through the skate of Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson before snaking through goaltender James Reimer. Seriously. Check it out.
It was the Sabres' first overtime winner since Ott's power-play goal on March 19 in Montreal -- and their first OT winner at home since Derek Roy's power-play goal beat the Leafs on April 3, 2012, the night that Jordan Leopold score the tying goal in the final two minutes with that memorable jam-scramble in front of the Leafs net. The Sabres lost their only previous home overtime this season to Tampa Bay and were 0-2 in home-deciding OT goals in the lockout-shortened campaign.