- Associated Press - Friday, February 28, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Marcus Foligno looked up at the video board and was moved as the Buffalo Sabres said farewell to two of their most popular players.

Jhonas Enroth made 36 saves as the Sabres beat the San Jose Sharks 4-2 on Friday night, a few hours after they traded goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott.

“I’m not going to lie. It was pretty emotional watching the tribute,” Foligno said. “That was pretty nice what they did during the game, and those are two players that were hugely respected here in the city and respected Buffalo as well.”

Miller was set to start his 541st career game for the Sabres, but was pulled from the lineup just over an hour before the puck was dropped. The deal made Ted Nolan push Enroth into the starting lineup.

“I was sitting in the back, joking around with the trainers about all these trade rumors and I told them hopefully it doesn’t happen on game day, especially against the Sharks,” Enroth quipped. “Three minutes after, Coach Nolan came up to me and told me I was starting, so I kind of jinxed myself there.

“After that, I was a bit more nervous than usual but I told myself I had nothing to lose.”

Enroth played well and the Sabres got goals from Cody Hodgson, Brian Flynn, Matt Moulson and Tyler Myers.

It was Enroth’s second consecutive win after he snapped a 0-10-4 slump with a 5-4 overtime win against Boston on Wednesday, which was his first home win since April.

With the trade of Miller, Buffalo was forced to reach into their new hockey academy staff for a backup goaltender. HarborCenter director of technology Ryan Vinz was Buffalo’s No. 2 goaltender after being a video coordinator at Clarkson University.

James Sheppard and Patrick Marleau scored for San Jose.

With the trade, Buffalo general manager Tim Murray struck his first major deal since being hired in January, acquiring goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick and a conditional 2016 third-round pick.

Murray later explained that the pick in 2016 could turn into a first-round pick in this year’s draft if the Blues reach the Western Conference finals or Miller re-signs with St. Louis before the draft.

The win gave Buffalo three straight wins for the first time since last April, and Myers said the milestone carries significance.

“It feels good,” he said. “We knew what position we were in going into this game, and we really wanted it. Hearing the news before the game we wanted it that much more.”

The Sabres opened the scoring on a power-play goal 10:59 into the first period, as Antti Niemi couldn’t hold on to Hodgson’s wrist shot. It was Hodgson’s 15th goal and his first since Jan. 28.

Story Continues →