BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 14: Tyler Ennis #63 of the Buffalo Sabres scores against Mathieu Garon #32 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first period at First Niagara Center on April 14, 2013 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Sabres keep playoff hopes alive

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The Buffalo Sabres are still long shots to make the playoffs, but they did all they could this weekend.

After defeating the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, Buffalo earned a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay tonight.

Once again Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth was a big factor, stopping 32 of 33 shots. Buffalo decided to go with its backup netminder following his 29-save shutout on Saturday.

That might not seem like a big deal but, as the Buffalo News pointed out, Ryan Miller almost never goes back-to-back games without a start when he’s healthy.

Tyler Ennis got the Sabres on the board first with a power-play goal just 4:09 into the game. The 23-year-old had struggled recently with no points and a minus-seven rating in his previous seven contests. Jochen Hecht accounted for the game-winner.

On the Lightning’s side, this game was unfortunately more than just a loss. A mere day after his three-assist night against the Washington Capitals, forward Tom Pyatt suffered an upper-body injury, according to the Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson.

With this win, Buffalo is still four points shy of eighth place with just five games left to play. Even if the Sabres win all of their remaining matches, they still might miss the playoffs, but at least with tonight’s victory they get to wonder “what if” for a little bit longer.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…