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Buffalo
Sabres
53-22-7
Columbus
Blue Jackets
33-42-7

38 SOG
26 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
BUF
CBJ
game recap

Blue Jackets 3, Sabres 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Blue Jackets 3, Sabres 2
Buffalo Sabres 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -Coach Ken Hitchcock addressed his Columbus Blue Jackets after the second period. He didn't yell at them. Instead, he inspired them.

"He gave us a little pep talk," Rick Nash said. "We knew we had to get better, and that was one of our best third periods."

Dan Fritsche jammed in a rebound on the second try midway through the period to cap a comeback and give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

The Blue Jackets, who had lost five of their previous seven games, came into the third period trailing 2-1. They improved to just 3-22 when down through two periods.

"During the second intermission, we regrouped," Fritsche said. "We knew what we had to do - we had to go out there and take over the game."

Manny Malhotra centered a pass to Rostislav Klesla, who was trailing the play, for a high shot that eluded Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller and tied the score at the 5:22 mark of the third period.

Columbus, completely outplayed in the middle period, then took the lead when Malhotra's pass was deflected but ended up on the stick of Jason Chimera. Chimera's shot was stopped by Miller, but Fritsche was in front to jam at it. Miller stopped the first with his stick but the second got by him for Fritsche's 10th goal.

"There was a shot - I don't even know where it came from," Fritsche said. "I was waiting for a loose puck. It was just bouncing around and I was just fishing for it. It finally went in."

Chris Drury had both Buffalo goals, with Daniel Briere, just back from being named MVP of the All-Star game, adding two assists.

The Sabres, cheered by thousands of fans who made the trip, came in 24-1-2 when leading through two.

"You can't sit back. We made a couple of mistakes and they took advantage of them," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We had our opportunities to put them away but we didn't. We spent the whole second period in their end. When you have nine or 10 opportunities to score, you need to put two or three away and we didn't."

Fredrik Norrena had 36 saves for the Blue Jackets, gloving Drury's hard shot with 16 seconds left.

Nash had the other Columbus goal, while Chimera and Malhotra each had two assists.

The Blue Jackets got on the board first when Sergei Fedorov slid a centering pass to Nash in the high slot, with Nash's power-play wrist shot going off Teppo Numminen and past Miller for his 14th of the season.

The Sabres came back with a power-play goal of their own, Drury skating along the goal line from the left wing and then going high over Norrena's shoulder.

Buffalo thoroughly dominated the second period, outshooting Columbus 15-4.

Drury pushed the lead to 2-1 when he scored on a rebound off Briere's hard shot for his 26th of the year 1:08 in on the power play.

The Sabres' best chance to extend the lead came when Daniel Paille received a penalty shot with 18 seconds left in the second. Norrena lost his stick while trying to poke the puck away from Paille on a breakaway. Paille's shot was deflected just wide by Norrena.

"It was a playoff atmosphere," said Hitchcock, who is 14-12-3 since taking over for the fired Gerard Gallant. "This is the loudest I've heard it this season."

Notes: The Blue Jackets traded RW Joe Motzko, C Mark Hartigan and a conditional seventh-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for C Zenon Konopka, LW Curtis Glencross and a fourth-round pick. ... For Columbus, Nash played in his 250th NHL game, C Alexander Svitov his 150th and Tollefsen his 50th. ... East-leading Buffalo, which lost its second in a row, is just 5-6-1 in January.

scoring summary
1st Period
12:09
CBJ
PPG - Rick Nash (14) Snap shot - ASST: Sergei Fedorov (16), David Vyborny (31)
1 - 0 CBJ
15:57
BUF
PPG - Chris Drury (25) Wrist shot - ASST: Daniel Briere (40), Nathan Paetsch (8)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
01:08
BUF
PPG - Chris Drury (26) Snap shot - ASST: Daniel Briere (41), Ales Kotalik (19)
2 - 1 BUF
3rd Period
05:22
CBJ
Rostislav Klesla (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Manny Malhotra (8), Jason Chimera (12)
2 - 2 Tie
09:23
CBJ
Dan Fritsche (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Jason Chimera (13), Manny Malhotra (9)
3 - 2 CBJ
penalty summary
1st Period
06:08
CBJ
Aaron Johnson  Hi-sticking against  Derek Roy
09:31
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Roughing against  Jody Shelley
09:31
CBJ
Jody Shelley  Roughing against  Paul Gaustad
11:39
BUF
Dmitri Kalinin  Hooking against  Rick Nash
12:53
CBJ
Manny Malhotra  Tripping against  Daniel Briere
14:48
CBJ
Adam Foote  Roughing against  Brian Campbell
16:00
BUF
Andrew Peters  Fighting (maj) against  Jody Shelley
16:00
CBJ
Jody Shelley  Fighting (maj) against  Andrew Peters
19:06
CBJ
Anders Eriksson  Cross checking
2nd Period
00:38
CBJ
Adam Foote  Holding against  Nathan Paetsch
04:08
BUF
Nathan Paetsch  Hooking against  Nikolay Zherdev
10:29
BUF
Adam Mair  Hooking
14:03
BUF
Thomas Vanek  Roughing against  Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
14:03
CBJ
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen  Cross checking against  Thomas Vanek
16:10
CBJ
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen  Hooking against  Thomas Vanek
3rd Period
02:23
BUF
Thomas Vanek  Tripping against  Nikolay Zherdev
17:31
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Holding against  Ron Hainsey
18:53
BUF
Jaroslav Spacek  Hooking
20:00
BUF
 Too many men/ice - bench
goalie stats
Ryan Miller
SA: 26TOI: 59:39
Saves: 23EV: 17 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .885SH: 1 - 1
Fredrik Norrena
SA: 38TOI: 60:00
Saves: 36EV: 28 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 9
SV%: .947SH: 1 - 1