- The Sabres have now scored a power play goal in each of their last four games; they are 6-for-14 (42.9%) during that stretch.
- The Sabres fell to 12-9-6 in one-goal games this year.
- With his ninth power play goal of the season, Thomas Vanek entered a three-way tie with Chris Kunitz and John Tavares for third-most in the league.
- Vanek’s goal was the 248th of his career, pushing him past Mike Foligno (247) for sixth-most in franchise history. He trails Craig Ramsay by four goals for fifth-most.
- With the loss, Jhonas Enroth falls to 4-1-1 in his last six starts, with a .956 save percentage and a 1.47 goals against average.
- With his assist, Tyler Ennis extended his point streak to four games (1+4).
- Drew Stafford is now on a three-game point streak (1+2).
Sabres forward Thomas Vanek:
On his goal: “Yeah, it started off from a good play by Drew [Stafford] to go across, changing sides. Then [I] found a good little hole in the middle, and [Tyler] Ennis made a good pass and I just chipped it in.”
On the offside call near the end of the game: “Yeah, I mean, it was a good play. It happened quick, I just caught it off my toe. And it actually hit a skate and almost still went in. It’s a play we’ve worked on and talked about and almost executed but not good enough.”
On the play of goaltender Jhonas Enroth: “I thought Jhonas [Enroth] played great. I think they outshot us a good amount. I thought a lot of them were on the outside, but at the same time they got rewarded by shooting pucks on the net, and I thought we had some good chances. We had some tap-ins that we missed. If you can’t score, you can’t score.”
Sabres forward Steve Ott:
On how tough it is for veterans knowing they don’t have many chances: “You know, it’s the worst. You want to be a playoff team, there’s no hiding about that. That’s something we all start and train so hard to have a chance at the Stanley Cup and when you don’t have that chance its tough. We have a lot of pride in this dressing room, and not only this dressing room but individually, I think hockey players as a whole have a lot of pride for the simple fact of how hard it is to become an NHL player, so anytime you get that opportunity to play in this league you can never take it for granted.”
On the teams’ mentalities for the game: “I mean, they had that mentality of wanting to be a playoff team, so their hopes were alive still. Obviously, for us it’s in the back of your mind. It’s just dwelling on us that we’re not a playoff team in here and that’s probably the difference in mentality-wise but pride-wise you still have to go out there and battle your [tail] off.”
On Jhonas Enroth’s play: “Jhonas was great. He was our best player by far. He came in and we knew he’d be strong. He’s been very strong for us I thought all year – both goalies for that fact. Extremely strong, our strongest part of our whole season has been those two guys. You need help in front of them, and we didn’t score enough goals and give them the help that they needed.”
Sabres forward Mikhail Grigorenko:
On looking more comfortable on the ice: “Yeah, I got some confidence back in the juniors (with Quebec). I played with confidence again. I was winning faceoffs and when I know I’m good at faceoffs it gives me some more confidence.”
On being better adjusted to the game: “Yeah, I was just trying to use my power and my size.”
On almost scoring a goal: “I’m a little disappointed I didn’t score. I had a couple chances and was around the goal maybe five times today, but I couldn’t score.”
Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec:
On his save on Thomas Vanek near the end of the game: “It just hit me. I don’t think I saw the shot, I just tried to go down and it just hit my pad, so [it was a] lucky one. We deserve [a win]. I think we played a really good game. I think we had a lot of shots, we had some opportunities. Their goalie played really well, and I think we deserved to win.”
On staying focused despite not being tested early: “It’s always hard, but it was because the guys played really well. I think we played great defensively, and they had one power play, one power-play goal. I just tried to focus, stay in the game. Like you said, there weren’t too many shots, so it was a little bit tough, but I think the guys did a great job and we deserved to win.”
On his success against Buffalo throughout his career: “It’s nothing special against them, I just try to play as hard as I can every game and just sometimes you’re lucky. … Overall this season, I think we played really well against Buffalo; we were 3-0 I think, so we just played great against them.
Jets forward Antti Miettinen:
On whether he was frustrated being a healthy scratch the last few games: “Not too bad. We’ve been winning games, we’ve been playing well, so it’s not the ideal situation, but it’s not the worst either.”
On his reaction to scoring the game-winning goal: “I didn’t really see how it got in there, I was just listening to the crowd.”
On what this win means for the Jets moving forward: “I think it wasn’t the easiest game for us, and to be able to win that is great, and we just have to be a little better tomorrow when we go into Washington.”
Jets forward Andrew Ladd:
On Enroth’s play and the Jets’ mindset to try to beat him: “Their goalie played really well. I thought we generated a lot of chances – especially early on – and he kept them in there. It’s always dangerous when their goalie is playing well and you can’t seem to pull away. (It) allows them to stay in the game, and they get a power-play goal and it’s a different game, but big goal by Miettinen, and find a way to win.”
On Pavelec’s play: “We’ve kind of learned to expect that from him. He’s oftentimes our best player every night, and to win hockey games you have to have that big save every now and then, and we’ve gotten that from him all season.”
On what the Jets’ win means for them moving forward: “We knew it was huge. I don’t think it’s a secret that we probably have to win the last three games to get into the postseason, so tonight was the first step. We didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but now we’ve taken that step and we can focus on Washington tomorrow and the biggest game of the year for us.”