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After early barrage of goals, Colorado hold off Buffalo

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A four-goal advantage for the Colorado Avalanche proved insurmountable for the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday evening, falling 5-3 inside the Pepsi Center on Saturday evening.

The Avs struck twice in a span of 32 seconds as Marc-Andre Cliche scored his second on the season assisted from Cody McLeod and Dennis Everberg. The second goal for Colorado came from John Mitchell who netted his 10th of the 2014-15 campaign. His goal was assisted by Matt Duchene’s 30th helper and Jarome Iginla’s 27th on the season.

Buffalo continued to trail for the remainder of the first period by the 2-0 scoreline. That changed 3:29 into the second period as Colorado added another goal, this time from Tyson Barrie. The goal was Barrie’s 12th of the year with helpers from Ryan O’Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog who tallied their 38th and 33rd assist on the season respectively.

Matt Duchene pushed Colorado’s lead to 4-0 with his 19th of the season by way of Iginla’s second assist of the night and 28th on the year as well as Zach Redmond who tallied the secondary assist, his 13th overall.

Entering the third period, trailing 4-0, the Sabres finally made a dent on the scoreboard as Andrej Meszaros buried his fourth goal on the season with assists from Rasumus Ristolainen, his ninth and Johan Larsson, his eighth assist on the year.

1:39 after the goal from Meszaros, Brad Stuart pushed the lead back to four goals as he potted a goal with help from Iginla and Duchene. The goal was Stuart’s third as Iginla pocked his third assist on the night along with Duchene’s second.

The Sabres added two goals to trim the margin but that wasn’t enough. 41 seconds after Stuart scored, Meszaros struck again with his second of the night and fifth of the campaign. The goal was unassisted, the lone unassisted goal of the evening.

Ristolainen added his seventh goal of the year as he scored the third goal of the night for the Sabres off of assists from Marcus Foligno and Zac Dalpe at 8:43 in the third period.

Hackett was relieved after the third goal and gave way to Anders Lindback who allowed two goals on the 12 shots faced. He made 10 saves, all at even strength. Semyon Varlamov made 35 saves on 38 shots including all six on Sabre powerplays.

Buffalo concludes the month of March in Arizona with a matchup against the Coyotes at 10:00 p.m. inside the Gila River Arena in Phoenix.

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NHL Standings

DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
A4631-12-365
A4527-10-862
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Metropolitan Division Leaders:
M4828-15-561
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M4824-19-553
-----------------------------------------
M4925-21-353
M4824-20-452
M4721-18-850
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A4719-22-644
A4518-20-743
A4415-20-939
A4611-26-931
DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
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C4828-13-763
C4528-11-662
C4928-18-359
Pacific Division Leaders:
P4631-11-466
P4626-14-658
P4625-16-555
Wild Card leaders:
C4827-17-458
C4526-16-355
-----------------------------------------
P4725-17-555
C4725-17-555
P4822-17-953
C4622-18-650
P4721-23-343
P4718-23-642
P4811-28-929