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game recap

Sabres end skid with win against Blue Jackets

Buffalo scores five unanswered goals to stop losing streak at four

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Evander Kane scored with 2:29 remaining, and the Buffalo Sabres rallied for a 5-3 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Kane received a pass from Jack Eichel and beat goalie Joonas Korpisalo to make it 4-3 with his 25th goal. Eichel scored an empty-net goal with four seconds left for his 19th goal.

The Sabres (28-29-12), who trailed 3-0, ended a four-game losing streak.


WATCH: Blue Jackets vs. Sabres highlights


"We played like we had nothing to lose and maybe we should start doing that more often," Kane said.

Columbus (43-18-6) had won three in a row.

"I thought the third period we didn't develop enough offense, which they did," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "So it's a tough game to lose being up 3-0. It's a tough game to lose for us. We'll leave them alone [Sunday] and get ready for another game."

McCabe scored 18 seconds into the second period when he received a pass from Nicolas Deslauriers and took a shot that beat Korpisalo for his third goal.

Video: CBJ@BUF: Kane tallies late go-ahead power-play goal

Matt Moulson made it 3-2 at 5:44 of the second with a power-play goal when he put his own rebound past Korpisalo for his 13th goal.

Sam Reinhart tied the game 3-3 with three seconds left in the second when he took a pass from Rasmus Ristolainen and beat Korpisalo through the five-hole for his 16th goal.

The Blue Jackets got out to a 3-0 lead in the first period after goals from David Savard at 7:09, Nick Foligno's 24th goal at 14:00, and Oliver Bjorkstrand at 17:56.

Sabres starter Anders Nilsson was replaced by Robin Lehner after the first period. Nilsson made nine saves on 12 shots; Lehner saved all 24 shots he faced.

"My job doesn't change," Lehner said. "I just go in and try to stop the next puck. … We might've struggled, we might have our ups and downs, but we've never quit."

Sam Gagner had two assists and extended his point streak to five games.


Goal of the game

Foligno toe-dragged past Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe and put a shot over Nilsson's glove.

Video: CBJ@BUF: Foligno shows off hands, beats Nilsson


Save of the game

Lehner's save against Cam Atkinson with 33 seconds left preserved the Sabres' one-goal lead. "I kind of got my body over and I felt it and was lucky I could [squeeze] it and make it not cross the line," Lehner said.

Video: CBJ@BUF: Lehner reacts quickly for game-saving stop


Highlight of the game

Lehner made a leg save against Gagner with the Sabres trailing 3-2 at 12:53 of the second period.

Video: CBJ@BUF: Lehner denies Gagner with his left pad


Unsung performance of the game

Ristolainen led all players with 32:07 of ice time, a career-high for him in a non-overtime game.


They said it

"I just didn't like what we were putting into the game at that point in time. They score the third goal, we needed to have a response from our team and passion and energy and how we play the game." -- Sabres coach Dan Bylsma


"We've shown it all year, we can come back in these games. It shouldn't take a deficit of 3-0 to wake us up. We came out really flat tonight, but we really came together as a group and found a way to win." -- Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe


"It's not so much this game, it's trying to play at the standard we need to play at and we didn't play that for a full 60 minutes tonight. That team gets booed off [the ice] in the first period. Athletes in our game, they have pride. They change the goalie, he makes a couple of key saves, they score early. You need to respect your opponent all the time, so give Buffalo a little credit as far as coming back." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella


"It's just disappointing because that's a game that we've got to find a way to win. Whatever's up against us, whether it's calls that are suspect or what, we've got to find a way to battle through and tonight we didn't and it's unfortunate. He makes a heck of a save at the end there to keep them up one." -- Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno


Need to know

Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray, who returned to the lineup after he missed the previous two games because of a lower-body injury, left the game in the first period because of an upper-body injury. He was struck by a Tyler Ennis shot 3:02 into the game and went to the locker room. There was no update after the game. … Atkinson said he received 17 stitches in his shoulder when he was cut by the skate of Sabres forward Marcus Foligno during a scrum in the second period. … This was the Sabres' first regulation win in which they trailed by three or more goals since a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 29, 2009.


What's next

Blue Jackets: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, CSN-PH, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Sabres: At the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, MSG-B, NHL.TV)


Video: Sabres roll behind five unanswered goals in 5-3 win

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