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Game Day Central: Blue Jackets vs. Sabres

by Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets



WATCH: Mark Letestu follows up the MacKenzie shot to bring the Jackets within two.

GOAL AUDIO: Mark Letestu 


The Blue Jackets look like a frustrated bunch right now, getting their fair share of chances but haven't been able to beat Miller but for the MacKenzie goal back in the first period. Buffalo has given them nightmares on the power play, scoring two shorthanded goals and the second (from Marcus Foligno) chased Bobrovsky from the net after three goals allowed on 10 shots. Columbus has carried the play for much of the game so far but they'll need more traffic in front of Miller to make a dent in the Sabres' lead; a big third period is needed to keep this thing going. 

Derek MacKenzie's fourth of the season tied things up 1-1 midway through the first.


Rough ending to the first period by the Blue Jackets, who gave up a shorthanded goal (a fluky one at that) to Christian Ehrhoff with 29.5 seconds left in the first period. Buffalo got on the board first, too, scoring at 2:21 on a floating backhander through traffic that eluded Sergei Bobrovsky. The Blue Jackets have not been very clean with the puck but have been able to generate shots and chances on Ryan Miller, who's been sharp in goal for the Sabres. They'll need to shake off that period, get back to work in the second period and get back to their game. Shots are 11-8 favoring Columbus.

GOAL AUDIO: Derek MacKenzie

We've got some pairs of tickets up for grab tonight...and yes, we're going to test your knowledge with some CBJ trivia. Same rules apply.

Tweet us at @BlueJacketsNHL using #CBJSocial with your answer to the following question...good luck!

The only player to score a shootout goal against Sergei Bobrovsky this season is playing in tonight's game. Who is that player?

RINK REPORT: Bob McElligott and Jody Shelley get you set for tonight's battle!

Todd Richards talks tonight's game against Buffalo...

PRE GAME VIDEO: What's Boone Jenner saying about tonight's battle? Listen in.

PRE GAME VIDEO: Hear from Nathan Horton pre-game...

PRE GAME AUDIO: Nathan Horton | Boone Jenner | Todd Richards

INSIDE EDGE: Bob & Jody on tonight's game vs. the Sabres

UPDATE (11:25 AM):
The Blue Jackets have recalled Cody Goloubef from Springfield under emergency conditions. David Savard is ill this morning and will be a game-time decisions against the Sabres. Read the official release HERE.

UPDATE (10:45 AM):
Here are the lines and pairs used during today's AM skate...

Foligno - Johansen - Umberger
Calvert - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Jenner - Anisimov - Horton
MacKenzie - Letestu - Tropp

Defense pairs are TBD depending on Savard's status. The Jackets do not have an extra defenseman on the roster.

UPDATE (10:35 AM): David Savard did not take the morning skate today. We'll get an update from Todd Richards when he addresses the media.

It's been fun, right?! Wake up to our Top 5 Plays of the Week:

MORNING SKATE: The Blue Jackets play their third home game of the week tonight, a Saturday night contest against the Buffalo Sabres at Nationwide Arena. The Jackets are slated for a 10 a.m. morning skate at Nationwide Arena, and we'll have game day coverage for you right here at Game Day Central. Also, look for lineup changes, thoughts on the match-up against the Sabres, storylines from the other side and an interview with coach Todd Richards. Stay tuned to this page for the latest!

The Blue Jackets expect status quo on their lineup for tonight's game against the Buffalo Sabres. Blake Comeau is inching toward a return but it's not considered imminent, and Richards said after Friday's optional practice that he doesn't foresee any changes from Thursday's lineup.

That means the same forward lines, same defense pairs and Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes for Columbus.

For the second time in as many Saturday nights, the Blue Jackets and Sabres do battle - and this time, it's Columbus doing the honors of hosting the party. 

It's been a few years since the Sabres visited Nationwide Arena for a regular-season game, way back in 2011-12 as a matter of fact. While that seems like a decade ago, the Blue Jackets actually hosted Buffalo for a preseason game (remember the preseason?) back in September. The Sabres always bring a healthy contingent of fans with them from western New York and it creates a pretty neat atmosphere in the rink, and it should be no different when these two Eastern Conference clubs meet up for the third time this season.

The last meeting - a week ago tonight - was a back-and-forth game of mistakes that didn't make Richards a happy coach. The Blue Jackets picked up two points and continued their winning streak with a shootout victory, but they did not play a responsible game and gifted the Sabres two first-period goals.

Fortunately for Columbus, their offense was able to come up with a couple of responses in the first period and tallied a big power play goal in the second period to carry a 3-2 lead into the third. Tyler Myers' second goal of the game tied it up 3-3 with 24.9 seconds left and forced overtime, but all the Jackets needed was yet another nifty goal from Ryan Johansen to give them a shootout win.

Buffalo has been playing much better of late and their last outing was a hard-fought 5-3 loss to Carolina at First Niagara Center on Thursday. The Sabres are finding some consistency up front and are getting solid goaltending, and not surprisingly, are finding themselves in the middle of some competitive hockey games.


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