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game recap

Sheary helps Sabres hold off Blue Jackets

Forward breaks tie in third period for Buffalo, which had lost four of five

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

Sheary cleans up rebound for lead

BUF@CBJ: Sheary jams home rebound for the lead

Conor Sheary finds a rebound in front and hammers the puck into the vacated net, giving the Sabres a 5-4 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:58 •

COLUMBUS -- Conor Sheary broke a 4-4 tie with his eighth goal at 2:12 of the third period, and the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday.

Sheary and Evan Rodrigues each had a goal and an assist, and Carter Hutton made 33 saves for the Sabres (25-18-6), who had lost four of five. 

The Sabres are two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.


[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Blue Jackets highlights]


"We're trying to move into that wild card spot then eventually the top of [the Atlantic] division," Sheary said. "Obviously a big two points for us tonight."

Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson each had a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves for the Blue Jackets (28-18-3), who have lost three in a row for the first time this season.

Video: Clutch Performance: Sheary nets winner for Sabres

"I thought our first five minutes were really good, then they kind of pushed and we didn't have that competitive edge that we need to have," Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno said.

Rodrigues extended his NHL career-best goal streak to four games with his sixth goal at 2:14 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.

Bobrovsky slid across to make a pad save on Casey Mittelstadt but could not recover in time to stop the rebound into an open net.

Dubois tied it 1-1 63 seconds later with a tip of a Ryan Murray shot for his 18th goal.

Video: BUF@CBJ: Foligno taps in rebound for power-play goal

Sam Reinhart scored in his second straight game at 7:59 for a 2-1 Sabres lead, and Tage Thompson made it 3-1 at 9:39 on Buffalo's sixth shot. 

Reinhart one-timed a pass to the slot from Rasmus Ristolainen for his 12th goal, and Thompson got his seventh from between the circles.

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella did not put the blame on Bobrovsky.

"We could have been down 5-1 at a point in time with the saves he made with the breakdowns we had," Tortorella said.

Foligno scored on his own rebound for a power-play goal 21 seconds into the second period to cut it to 3-2 with his 13th goal, but Jeff Skinner made it 4-2 21 seconds later. 

Video: BUF@CBJ: Rodrigues nets rebound to extend goal streak

Bobrovsky made the initial save but he and the puck fell back across the line to give Skinner his 31st goal, second in the NHL to Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (37).

Skinner has 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in 25 career games against the Blue Jackets.  

Brandon Dubinsky brought Columbus within 4-3 at 16:52 when he got the back of his stick blade on the puck and it trickled between the pads of Hutton.

Atkinson tied it 4-4 at 19:27 with his 28th goal. 

Video: BUF@CBJ: Atkinson rifles equalizer past Hutton

"We fell asleep for five minutes and let them crawl back into the game," Sheary said. "If you said we're going to be tied going into the third in an away building, we knew we were in a good position."

Any momentum gained by the Blue Jackets was lost when Sheary tapped in a rebound of a Rodrigues shot for the go-ahead goal.

"We had a great third period," Hutton said. "They had a few chances early but we did a great job locking it down."

Video: BUF@CBJ: Skinner races in alone and beats Bobrovsky


They said it

"We're a really good team when we play well without the puck. You can see that. Sometimes when we get the lead we get a little loose." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley


"I thought it was sloppy on both sides. We certainly out-sloppied them. We're not going to put all the blame on that. There were some major struggles around our net." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella 


Need to know

Buffalo rookie Rasmus Dahlin had two assists to move past Ray Bourque for the sixth-most points in NHL history by an 18-year-old defenseman (28). He has eight points (goal, seven assists) in the past seven games. It was Dahlin's sixth multipoint game. Only two defensemen have had at least six prior to their 19th birthday (Housley, 13; Bobby Orr, 8). … Rodrigues has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past seven games. … Sabres forward Jack Eichel has four points (goal, three assists) in the past three games. ... Sabres defenseman Matt Hunwick played his third game of the season. He had been scratched the previous 13 games. … Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner did not play because of an undisclosed injury. … The assist by Murray was his 22nd and surpasses his NHL-high of 21 set in 2015-16. … Dubois has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games. … Atkinson has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past seven games. … Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin had two assists to give him 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his past seven games. … Blue Jackets forward Markus Hannikainen played 8:41 in his first game after missing six (elbow). Columbus has killed 25 straight penalties in the past 11 games. 

Video: BUF@CBJ: Dubinsky shovels home Harrington's attempt


What's next

Sabres: At the Dallas Stars on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW+, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: At the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, TSN3, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Video: Sheary, Rodrigues help Sabres edge Blue Jackets, 5-4

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