BUFFALO, N.Y. — Jhonas Enroth stopped 29 shots to help the Buffalo Sabres remain on the fringe of the playoff race with a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Christian Ehrhoff scored the lone goal, 17 seconds into the third period, when his fortunate carom off the end boards sneaked in behind Steve Mason. Buffalo (17-19-6) snapped a two-game skid and climbed into a tie with New Jersey for 10th in the Eastern Conference standings.
Enroth stopped 11 shots in the final period, including getting a piece of Wayne Simmonds’ shot from the slot with 50 seconds remaining. For Enroth, it was his third career shutout and first since, Nov. 18, 2011.
The Flyers (17-21-3) lost their fourth straight, squandering an opportunity to jump a point ahead of the Sabres. They’ve lost four straight in regulation for the first time since Feb. 26-March 6, 2011.
And it’s a stretch during which they’ve failed to score two or more goals in regulation. That matches Philadelphia’s worst tretch since a four-game span from Jan. 24-30, 2003, according to STATS LLC.
The Flyers’ power play failed to convert on three chances and is 0 for 16 in six games.
Not even the return of center Danny Briere could provide the Flyers a boost. Briere, a former Sabres captain, played his first game after missing 10 because of a concussion.
Briere nearly scored with a second left when his shot from the left circle hit off the crossbar.
In a game between two struggling teams, leave it to the Sabres to open the scoring 17 seconds into the third period on a shot that wasn’t even directed on goal.
Steve Ott won the face off to left of the Flyers net, and fed it back to Ehrhoff at the point, where his shot sailed five feet wide of the net. The puck caromed off the end boards and went in off the back of Steve Mason’s skate after the goalie failed to hug the left post.
Enroth got the start in place of Ryan Miller because the Sabres host Tampa Bay on Sunday in closing a stretch of playing three games in four days.
Enroth’s best stop came with just over 11 minutes left, when he kicked out left pad to stop Simon Gagne driving to the net after being set up alone in front. Enroth was briefly shaken up on the play, after teammate Mark Pysyk rolled over top the goalie while chasing Gagne from behind.
Enroth was sharp in the opening minute of the second period when he got his glove up to get a piece of Simon Gagne’s shot from the left circle after being set up by Claude Giroux on a 2-on-1 break.
Mason, making his third appearance for Philadelphia since being acquired in a trade with Columbus this month, had to be on top of his game at the other end, too.
He got his shoulder up to stop Cody Hodgson’s rising shot on a 2-on-1 rush midway through the second period. Mason’s best stop came a few minutes later when he got his glove up to stop Thomas Vanek’s hard shot from the right circle, and recovered in time to stop Vanek’s attempt to cash in the rebound.
Rangers 1, Islanders 0
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Defenseman Dan Girardi scored 3:11 into overtime to give the New York Rangers a stirring victory over the New York Islanders in a game that felt every bit like a playoff matchup between the area rivals.
Henrik Lundqvist and Islanders counterpart Evgeni Nabokov staged a classic goalie duel that seemed destined to go to a shootout, but Girardi finished off a rush by flipping a shot over Nabokov’s shoulder for just his second goal of the season.
The Rangers are eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, one point behind the Islanders. The Rangers lead ninth-place Winnipeg by two points with seven games remaining — one more than the Jets.
Lundqvist finished with 29 saves for his first shutout of the season. Nabokov stopped 19 shots.
Hurricanes 4, Bruins 2
RALEIGH, N.C. — Jiri Tlusty scored two goals and the Carolina Hurricanes ended a seven-game losing streak with a victory over the Boston Bruins.
Joe Corvo’s power-play goal at 9:36 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie.
The win was Carolina’s first in the month of April and the Hurricanes also ended an eight-game losing streak at home.
Jeff Skinner added a first-period power-play goal, the first time this season Boston had allowed two power-play goals in a game.
Carolina goalie Justin Peters stopped 28 shots while Boston’s Tuukka Rask had 34 saves.
Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic scored for the Bruins.
Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 1
TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs scored four goals on their first five shots, chased Montreal goalie Carey Price midway through the first period and beat the Canadiens.
Tyler Bozak, Leo Komarov, Jay McClement, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel scored for Toronto, which has earned at least one point in 12 of its last 13 games (8-1-4). James Reimer stopped 36 shots for the Leafs.
Price gave up three goals on four shots and was pulled after just 10 minutes, 25 seconds. Peter Budaj didn’t fare much better, giving up a goal on the first shot he faced before finishing with 22 saves.
Capitals 6, Lightning 5
WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals blew a four-goal lead Saturday night before Mike Green scored a power-play goal at 2:59 of overtime, extending the team’s winning streak to seven games with a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 27th goal to move ahead in the NHL’s goal-scoring race, and the Capitals moved four points clear atop the Southeast Division, albeit after cruising way too much once they had a 5-1 lead early in the second period.
Green scored after Vincent Lecavalier was whistled for slashing Marcus Johansson, who was skating in on the crease for a clear look at a potential winning goal.
Ovechkin broke a tie with the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos to take the solo spot atop the goal leaderboard for the first time this season.
Penguins 3, Panthers 1
SUNRISE, Fla. — Brenden Morrow scored two goals to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a victory over the Florida Panthers.
Kris Letang also scored for Pittsburgh and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves. Morrow also had an assist.
Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin missed the game with an upper body injury. The Penguins were also without Sidney Crosby, who is out indefinitely with a broken jaw.
The Penguins won for the 19th time in 21 games. The Panthers have lost three of their past four.
Scottie Upshall scored for Florida and Jacob Markstrom stopped 19 shots.