BUFFALO – Forget about rookies, few established stars could match Marcus Foligno’s impact during a standout March.
The Sabres winger dazzled, compiling six goals, 11 points and gaudy plus-10 rating in 11 games beside Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford.
That dynamic output earned the 20-year-old the NHL’s Rookie of the Month.
“It’s amazing what has happened this month, not just for myself but the run the team’s gone on,” Foligno said Monday inside the First Niagara Center. “At the same time, it’s an honor. … For me to come in and have success with that line – Ennis and Stafford – has been huge. I have to give those guys a lot of credit for my success.”
Foligno hasn’t looked back following his March 9 recall. He scored his first NHL goal the next night in Ottawa and has two two-goal efforts already.
Making his big league debut in December helped Foligno come back relaxed.
“(I) got the nerves out and so it was back to normal for game two,” Foligno said. “I just went right back at it.”
In other news, Sabres goalie Ryan Miller has been named the NHL’s Third Star of March.
Miller went 10-3-2 with a 2.17 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and two shutouts.
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (10-2-1, 1.43, .947, four shutouts) and Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin (11 goals, 23 points) earned the first and second stars.
Miller will likely start his 12th straight game tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s played in 32 of the last 33 games and started 31 of them.
The 31-year-old insists he’s not tired. He’s resting away from the rink, Other than grabbing some Thai food, he spent his off day Sunday lounging on the coach.
“I’ve done this before. I know how to take care of myself,” Miller said. “It’s just basically been come to the rink, sit out on the couch, go to bed. Not much of an interesting hockey lifestyle. But that’s kind of how I do things. My body’s there. My brain’s there. Just keep playing.”