Lehner, Legwand lift Sabres past Blue Jackets
Goalie makes 38 saves; forward scores long-distance goalby Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent
COLUMBUS -- Robin Lehner made 38 saves for his third NHL shutout, and the Buffalo Sabres extended their point streak to four games with a 4-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Friday.
David Legwand scored a 149-foot, shorthanded goal to give the Sabres a 2-0 first-period lead.
He was at the top of his defensive right circle when he flipped the puck down ice. It bounced about 2 feet in front of goalie Joonas Korpisalo and skipped past him at 18:38.
"It's something that's a lot of luck," Legwand said. "Obviously you throw it on net. You throw it on the net because there's nothing else to do. It has a chance to go in if it's on net. I never expected it to go in."
Video: BUF@CBJ: Legwand scores from in his own zone
Neither did Korpisalo, whose parents and other family members came from Finland for the first time to watch him play in the NHL.
"It was a weird bounce, but that should never go in," said Korpisalo, who on Jan. 25 gave up an 86-foot goal to P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens. "I tried to get as close as possible but I didn't see what happened. You never really expect that kind of bounce."
Jamie McGinn scored two goals with rookie Jack Eichel assisting on each for the Sabres (24-28-7), who are 3-0-1 in the past four games. Sam Reinhart also scored.
It was Lehner's first shutout with the Sabres; he had two while with the Ottawa Senators.
"We outchanced them, but we weren't scoring on him tonight, no doubt about it," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "You could see in the first period it was one of those games. It's a 4-0 game, but he's a big reason they won that game."
Video: BUF@CBJ: Reinhart increases the lead in the 3rd
Lehner was outstanding in the first three minutes of the third period when he stopped Brandon Dubinsky skating through and a one-timer in the slot by Kerby Rychel.
"We came out a little flat-footed," he said. "We had the lead, so they've got to do something. They had some jump. They were taking chances."
Korpisalo (27 saves) was pulled with 8:30 left in the third period, and Curtis McElhinney, in his first game since being injured Jan. 2, made four saves. The Blue Jackets (23-29-7), who have scored two or fewer goals in six of eight games, were 4-0-2 in their past six.
Tortorella said he has no reason to waver in his faith in Korpisalo, who made his 11th straight start.
"You could say it was a bad goal but that took one hell of a bounce," Tortorella said.
He wasn't as forgiving of the power play, which was 0-for-6.
"I thought our power play stunk," he said.
Video: BUF@CBJ: McGinn opens the scoring with a PPG
Buffalo took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by McGinn at 14:55 of the first period.
The Sabres had a chance late in the second period to increase the advantage when Columbus left wing Scott Hartnell received a five-minute major for boarding Cody Franson. But Buffalo took three minor penalties to negate nearly all of the man-advantage, and Columbus had two power plays during the span.
McGinn scored his 14th at 7:16 of the third period, and Reinhart scored his 18th at 9:53. Left wing Evander Kane returned from a one-game suspension for missing practice Monday and had the primary assist on Reinhart's goal.
Columbus left wing Boone Jenner was given a major for hooking and a game misconduct for taking defenseman Zach Bogosian into the boards. Lehner jumped into the fray and received four minutes for a tussle with defenseman Jack Johnson.