There is no such thing as an automatic win in the NHL. If the Sabres didn’t know that already, they were reassured as they were dominated in an 5-1 defeat against Columbus.
The Blue Jackets came into the game as the league’s worst team at 5-13-3 and the Sabres had beat them once earlier this season.
Columbus scored the first four goals of the game, making it look easy against the league’s best road team, which the Sabres were with a 7-2 record coming in.
Rick Nash scored a pair of goals, increasing his total to seven on the season. R.J. Umberger’s goal early in the second chased Jhonas Enroth out of the net, allowing Drew MacIntyre to get some playing time.
Down by four, the Sabres still had over half a game to play, but had a frustrating time gaining momentum.
Jordan Leopold provided the lone Sabres goal of the night and it was a nice effort to get Buffalo on the board. It was Leopold’s 5th goal of the season, and it was assisted by Zack Kassian, who made his NHL debut for the Sabres.
The Sabres were outshot 34-29 and have lost three straight and four of the last five.
Robyn Regehr left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return.
They will have another chance to face on of the league’s worse teams when they host the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
The Sabres play eight of the next nine games on home ice as they look to get back to the top of the Northeast Division.
With the loss tonight, Buffalo trail Boston by three points in the division, but the Bruins have a game in hand.
The Sabres now head home to host the Washington Capitals on Saturday at 7 p.m.