Jhonas Enroth knew he’d be coming to Buffalo this week. In fact, he couldn’t stop thinking about it. Finally, he forced the pleasant thought to the back of his mind and focused on his work with the Los Angeles Kings.
His work and pleasure have merged. Enroth will start in goal against the Sabres on Saturday night in First Niagara Center.
“Everyone knows that I love Buffalo, so it’s nice to come back,” he said after the morning skate. “It felt like I was coming home in a way.”
The 27-year-old spent his first seven seasons in the Sabres’ organization and emerged as a starter last year. He’s carried the confidence to the Kings. Though he’s appeared in just five games as the backup to Jonathan Quick, Enroth is 3-1 with a .962 save percentage and 1.17 goals-against average.
“I’m excited for the game,” said Enroth, whose last start was Nov. 20 in Detroit. “I haven’t played in a while, so I’m pretty excited about that, too.”
It will be an all-Swedish night in the crease as the Sabres will start rookie Linus Ullmark. He is 4-6-2 with a .909 save percentage, but he’s looking to end a six-game winless streak (0-4-2). Buffalo has lost three straight.
“There’s 82 games in the season,” Ullmark said. “You can’t just focus on three games and have them in your mind all the time. You’ve just got to let it go and just keep going to work on your stuff. Hopefully, it all works out.”
Sabres coach Dan Bylsma would like to see a consistent effort out of Ullmark.
“Linus has the ability to be a game-changer and can make a spectacular save,” Bylsma said. “He has done that in his last starts. He has gotten away from being consistent in the net throughout the 60-minute game. He’s had one or two get by him, sneak by him, ones that he would probably like to have.
“His last game he had three or four outstanding saves. He probably had one he would like to have back, and that’s something he’s got to obviously sharpen up tonight when he plays against the Kings.”