BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jhonas Enroth stopped 34 shots, and Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis both had a goal and assist in the Buffalo Sabres’ 2-0 preseason win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
The Hurricanes sustained a big loss in the third period when veteran centre Jordan Staal broke a bone in his lower right leg. He was helped off the ice, unable to put weight on the leg.
Staal was hurt with 6:35 left after being checked into the boards by defenceman Josh Gorges.
Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis announced the diagnosis of Staal’s injury in a statement roughly two hours after the game.
“I’m concerned for sure. He’s a big piece of what we’re going to do moving forward,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said before learning of the severity of Staal’s injury.
Matt Moulson had a hand in both second-period goals scored 6:16 apart for Buffalo (1-1), which bounced back from a 1-0 loss at Washington on Sunday.
Enroth was sharp in gaining the initial edge in a preseason-goalie competition with Michal Neuvirth for Buffalo’s vacant No. 1 job after Ryan Miller was traded in February.
The Hurricanes (0-2) lost despite carrying much of the play over a 20-minute stretch that spanned the opening two periods in which they outshot the Sabres 17-2.
Carolina’s Anton Khudobin stopped all nine shots he faced before being replaced by Drew MacIntyre midway through the second period.
MacIntyre was beaten on the first shot taken at him when Stafford streaked in alone and lifted a backhander into the left side of the net.
Ennis was stopped by MacIntyre on his first two chances in front. Ennis then chased down the loose puck behind the net and had his no-look centring pass deflect in off of Staal.
Enroth was particularly sharp during the first 10 minutes of the second period.
Brendan Woods and Brody Sutter were stopped on bang-bang chances in front 3:20 in. Less than a minute later, Enroth got a piece of Michal Jordan’s hard shot from the right point.
Sabres D Mark Pysyk sustained an upper body injury in the first period and didn’t return.
Earlier Tuesday, Buffalo returned nine players to Canadian junior teams: Forwards Joseph Blandis (Barrie, OHL), Eric Cornel (Peterborough, OHL), Michael Joly (Rimouski, QMJHL), Vaclav Karabacek (Gatineau, QMJHL) and Jack Rodewald (Moose Jaw, WHL); defencemen Ryan MacKinnon (Charlottetown, QMJHL), Brycen Martin (Swift Current, WHL) and Jared Walsh (Mississauga, OHL); and goalie Francois Brassard (Quebec, QMJHL).