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game recap

Robin Lehner, Sabres shut out Avalanche

Goalie makes 23 saves to hand Colorado fifth straight loss

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Robin Lehner made 23 saves, and Sam Reinhart and Evander Kane scored to give the Buffalo Sabres a 2-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

Lehner made 12 saves in the third period to get his second shutout of the season and fifth in the NHL.

"I kind of started getting bored there in the second a little bit, but it was very nice to see," Lehner said. "It's nice to see we had three, four guys in the middle the whole second period. We were dumping pucks when we didn't have anything, we did a whole lot of things right today. When we play better teams it's obviously going to be a little different, but the same principles and that's what we've got to do."

The Sabres (25-23-10) won two straight games for the first time since they won three straight from Jan. 20-24. Buffalo is three points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.


WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Sabres highlights


"We need to go back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back," Kane said. "That's where we're at right now in terms of this point in the season. You've got two tough teams coming to our building to cap it off before the break and we have to have both of those games."

Video: Lehner earns Thursday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

The Avalanche (15-38-2) have lost five straight games and 11 straight on the road.

Reinhart gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead 48 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal.

"For us to stick with it after the first two power plays and not get too frustrated and down on each other, I thought we had a lot of good opportunities and good looks and we were able to stick with it and bury that one in front," Reinhart said.

Video: COL@BUF: Lehner kicks out his pad to rob Barberio

Kane made it 2-0 with 4:14 left in the third period. Kane received a pass from Evan Rodrigues up the right wing side and cut to the middle of the ice where he took a shot that beat Pickard through the five-hole for his 19th goal. Kane has seven goals and five assists in the past 12 games.

Pickard made 30 saves.

Sabres center Derek Grant injured his shoulder in the first period and did not return. Coach Dan Bylsma said he was taken out of the game as a precaution and will have a CT scan Friday to determine the severity of the injury.

Goal of the game

With Avalanche defenseman Cody Goloubef off on a holding penalty, Reinhart put a rebound of Rasmus Ristolainen's shot after a pass from Ryan O'Reilly past Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard for his 13th goal.

Video: COL@BUF: Reinhart slides rebound five-hole for PPG

Save of the game

Lehner made a pad save against Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov 21 seconds into the first period.


Highlight of the game

Kane turned Avalanche defenseman Mark Barberio inside out with a shoulder fake before scoring his goal.

Video: COL@BUF: Kane makes a slick move, buries wrist shot

Unsung performance of the game

After Grant was injured in the first period, Rodrigues stepped up in his absence and played an NHL career-high 15:47 with an assist and three shots on goal.

They said it

"Sometimes you get shutout, you create chances and you can't score. Tonight, we didn't create enough chances to score enough goals to win the game. It ends up zero. That's frustrating because we didn't play as well as could have." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


"We came out and had a great first couple of shifts and get a couple penalties called against us and obviously they're the first power play in the League for a reason. They're extremely hard to stop and they're moving around and you give them enough chances they're going to eventually score." -- Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog


"It got a little scary. I think we had a good run of possession. We had a post here, a bounce there that didn't go our way. After the first period, we're talking about staying with it, staying with it, [the] game plan." -- Sabres coach Dan Bylsma


"I thought we did a good job of playing a full 60 against a team that obviously has struggled this season. We didn't take our foot off the gas and we kept pushing. We played sound defensively and didn't give them too much." -- Sabres left wing Evander Kane

Need to know

Lehner's 23 saves were the fewest needed by a Sabres goaltender in a shutout since Ryan Miller stopped 22 shots against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 20, 2011. The Sabres won on a Thursday for the second time this season (2-10-2).

What's next

Avalanche: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-CR, ALT, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-MW, NHL.TV)


Video: Lehner stops 23 shots in 2-0 shutout of Avalanche

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