Ennis returned Dec. 2 and scored three times in eight games, a stretch he was “flying.”
Then he sprained the ankle again Dec. 17 in Pittsburgh, shelving him another 17 games.
“It started out as bad as it could get and now it’s just slowly getting a lot better,” Ennis said.
Ennis now understands players will inevitably get injured. It’s part of the game.
“I was lucky enough not to have anything in my career,” he said. “I took a couple big ones this year, which sucks. But I think also you got to stick with it. I had a slow start and kind of got down on myself. You just got to realize you go through stretches where everything goes in, too. So it all evens out.”
Everything’s going in now. Ennis, who’s played only 37 games, said he feels fresher than he normally would this late, like he’s “barely played.”
“I feel like all I’ve done is ride the bike,” he said. “I feel fresh. I guess with my injury I’ve been able to play with more energy because I haven’t played as much. So one positive I can take from being out so long is that I’m not as worn down.”
Notes: Sabres winger Nathan Gerbe, a surprise scratch Wednesday, pulled a muscle late in the morning skate, Ruff said. Gerbe participated in the pregame warm-up but missed his first game since Dec. 30. … The Sabres had the day off Thursday.