Skip to main content

Sabres finally win at home, beat Jackets 4-2

NHL.com @NHL
The Buffalo Sabres have been dynamite on the road. It took them until Thursday night to figure out how to win at home.

Jason Pominville scored twice, Patrick Kaleta broke a third-period tie and rookie Jhonas Enroth stopped 41 shots as the Sabres beat Columbus 4-2 for their first win at First Niagara Center this season.

The Sabres had been 6-1-0 outside of Western New York but 0-2 at their renamed arena -- and as they did on Tuesday against Tampa Bay, they failed to hold a 2-0 lead. This time, however, they found a way to win.

"We stuck with it," Pominville said. "We can be better, but we'll definitely take the win."

Enroth got his second start of the season after Ryan Miller struggled in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Lightning. He's 2-0-0 this season and 11-3-2 in his career. Enroth was especially sharp throughout in the first two periods when the Sabres were outshot 33-19.

"When we shoot on him in practice he's not the typical butterfly goalie we're used to seeing, but he reads the play so well and gets the job done," Pominville said. "I don't care how you make a save, as long as it's not in the net."

Enroth robbed Columbus captain Rick Nash midway through the middle period by nabbing his hard wrister from the left circle on a 2-on-1 break. He made a pair of superb stops on Vinny Prospal a few minutes later, denying him on a breakaway and then stopping the rebound.

"I saw pretty much all the shots," the Swedish rookie said. "I always want a lot of shots, you get into a groove and get a good sweat in."

It was another tough night for the Blue Jackets, who fell to 1-8-1 this season and are 0-8-2 in their last 10 road games. Columbus overcame an early two-goal deficit and pulled even when Fedor Tyutin scored midway through the third period, but Kaleta broke the tie with 5:52 to go when his backhander from the left circle beat Steve Mason.

Pominville's power-play goal with 2:24 left put the game away.

"We can't buy a break," said Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski, who made his season debut in Tuesday's 4-1 victory against Detroit after sitting out an eight-game suspension. "If we cut down the number of mistakes , we are going to win more than we lose. We make three mistakes tonight and the puck's in the back of the net."

Columbus trailed 2-1 after two periods but tied it at 10:51 when Tyutin chipped the puck into  the net from the slot with one hand after his cross-ice pass attempt was initially stopped by a sliding Pominville.

The Sabres opened the scoring at 14:07 of the opening period when Brad Boyes, stationed in the left circle, one-timed Thomas Vanek's cross-ice pass behind Mason for a power-play goal. Pominville made it 2-0 at 4:51 of the second period when he banged home a rebound after Mason's pad save on Vanek's slapper from the high slot.

Prospal got the Jackets on the board at 12:10 when he cut into the middle of the Sabres' zone and beat Enroth with a wrist shot into the top left corner.

"We have to build on the positives," Columbus coach Scott Arniel said. "We got 43 shots, and we got the opportunities. We're playing hard and doing the right things, but (Enroth) found a way to keep them out of the net."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report
View More