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Sabres rally late, fall to Jackets in shootout

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Tonight, the Buffalo Sabres played host to the hottest team in the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Columbus, who played last night, entered this game with a NHL-leading 5-game winning streak.

Buffalo would begin this game, playing like their hair was on fire.

That was no more evident than when, 59 seconds into the first, the Sabres would find themselves on the scoreboard.

Matt Moulson found himself in a bind, being surrounded by three Blue Jackets players. Moulson would make a heads up play, passing across the ice to a trailing Tyler Myers.

Myers would score his 5th goal of the season, in his 300th career NHL game. This would put Buffalo up 1-0.

Columbus got their legs under them and they would shortly get the equalizer.

David Savard would take a hard shot from the right boards, and the laser shot somehow found its way through Ryan Miller. This goal, at 6:19, was Savard’s 3rd of the season and first of the game for Columbus.

Buffalo would not settle for a tie game at this point. Just 28 seconds later, Tyler Ennis found himself on the doorstep of Columbus’ goal. Instead of shooting, Ennis would pass to a wide-open Drew Stafford, who scored. For Stafford, it would be his 5th of the season, and the Sabres’ second of the game.

As the period increased, Buffalo seemed to enter a defensive mindset, which allowed Columbus take the upper hand. A Tyler Myers boarding penalty would also end up helping the Blue Jackets.

Right after Myers’ two minute minor for boarding expired, Matt Calvert would score his 5th goal of the season, and Columbus’ second of the game.

With the second period approaching, both teams seemed to be playing a very energized and offensive game.

Early into the second frame, the Sabres believed they had taken the lead but the referees quickly put the kibosh on that.

A Tyler Ennis shot was put in the net by Matt Moulson, but replays showed it was distinctively kicked in. The play was ruled no goal. and the game remained knotted at 2.

Later in the period, Zenon Konopka would get called for goaltender interference, which sent Columbus to the power play. Shortly thereafter, Columbus would take the lead.

A Blue Jackets shot on goal had Ryan Miller going to the right, while Christian Ehrhoff fell down into the net. In front of Miller was another Sabre. As this all happened, Brian Flynn and Steve Ott had been engaged with Jackets’ players, leaving Brandon Dubinsky all alone to put the rebound home.

This would be Dubinsky’s 10th goal of the season, and Columbus’ 3rd goal of the game, at 11:21.

Heading into the final frame, Buffalo looked to knot the game back up at 3.

While they would be held down for most of the period, Buffalo could not be denied on a late power play. With Ryan Miller on the bench, in favor for an extra attacker, the Sabres attacked.

It would be Tyler Myers, again trailing the play, who put home the equalizer. His 6th goal of the season (2nd of the game) and 3rd goal of the game for Buffalo. The goal came at 19:35 of the period. 

The goal by Myers would mark the first time in 97 games (Sulzer: 4/3/12 vs. TOR) that a Sabres defenseman scored two goals in a game.

With an unsuccessful overtime for both teams, this one headed to a shootout.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen would be the only shooter to score, and for the second time in as many games, the Sabres would see themselves fall 4-3, in a shootout.

The Sabres fall to 13-27-7 on the season. 

Buffalo plays next on Tuesday night, when they host the Florida Panthers at the First Niagara Center. Puck drops shortly after 7 PM, and the game will be broadcast on MSG. 

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Administrator/Writer at Sabres Hockey Central.

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