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At the Horn: Avalanche 6 - Sabres 1

Johansson makes NHL debut in home loss

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Goaltender Jonas Johansson made his NHL debut on Tuesday in the Buffalo Sabres' 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at KeyBank Center. 

Johansson, Buffalo's third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (61st overall), joined the team for his first career recall last Wednesday after Linus Ullmark was ruled out for several weeks with a lower-body injury. 

Less than a week into his stint with the Sabres, Johansson was called into action midway through Tuesday's game. Carter Hutton was pulled with 9:02 remaining in the second period after allowing five goals on 13 shots. 

Things didn't start out great for Johansson as he allowed a goal on the first shot he saw - a snipe into the top corner by Mikko Rantanen - but the AHL All-Star settled in from there and made 13 saves. 

Sam Reinhart scored Buffalo's lone goal. 

What happened

The Avalanche took a 2-0 lead in a hurry when Samuel Girard and Andre Burakovsky scored 47 seconds apart in the opening period. 

First, Girard took advantage of a weird bounce and put the puck into the net with everyone else on the ice looking in the other direction with 6:46 remaining. Then Burakovsky wristed one in off the rush to make it 2-0. 

The Sabres got on the board when Reinhart deflected in a point shot from Jake McCabe with 0.9 seconds left in the first for his 19th marker of the year.

Colorado regained their two-goal lead when Nazem Kadri scored at the 1:00 mark of the second. Then Nikita Zarodov scored 4:23 into the period to put Colorado up 4-1. And with 9:02 left, Valeri Nichushkin roofed a shot for his ninth goal of the season. 

That forced Hutton from the net and paved the way for Johansson's debut. The Avalanche scored on their first shot on Johansson as Rantanen put one home with 7:01 remaining in the second. 

Burakovsky finished with four points (1+3) while Nichushkin recorded three (1+2) and Kadri had a goal and an assist.

The Sabres were outshot 27-24 in the game. 


What it means

Buffalo is now 23-23-7 this season and 15-9-3 at home. 

The Sabres announced a few hours before the game that Curtis Lazar (illness), Johan Larsson (lower body) and Rasmus Dahlin (upper body) would miss the game and that Rasmus Asplund had been called up from Rochester. 

Lazar, Larsson and Dahlin are all considered day-to-day. Buffalo skated with 11 forwards and seven defensemen as they've done many times this season. 

Roll the highlight film

Here's Reinhart's 19th goal of the year:

Video: COL@BUF: Reinhart tips home goal in front

Coming up

Buffalo hosts the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday at KeyBank Center. It's a 7 p.m. faceoff. The game will be carried nationally on NBCSN. Tickets are on sale now.

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