Blue Jackets throttle Sabres


The Sabres were unable to string together three wins in a row against the Blue Jackets in a nationally televised game on NBCSN on Wednesday. A trio of goals in a three minute span busted the game wide open for Columbus, which defeated Buffalo by a 5-1 score at Nationwide Arena.

Seth Jones, Nick Foligno and Matt Calvert helped fire the cannon with quick goals late in the second period.

Seth Griffith scored Buffalo’s lone goal late in the game, wristing a shot that went into the top corner of the net, breaking Sergei Bobrovski’s shutout bid. It was Griffith’s first NHL goal since Dec. 15, 2014, when he was a member of the Boston Bruins.

Bobrovski looked like one of the league’s best goaltenders on the night, stopping 34 shots in a monster performance, including a breakaway by Ryan O’Reilly.

Head coach Phil Housley created some discussion after electing to go with Chad Johnson in goal, instead of Robin Lehner, who earned a 1-0 shutout victory one night earlier. Johnson had never lost in regulation to the Blue Jackets, but that ended in this one. Johnson allowed five goals on 38 shots, and had numerous other shots go off the post throughout the game.

“Good teams don’t beat themselves, they don’t crack being down one, we shouldn’t have gotten away from our game plan.” – Housley

The Blue Jackets added one more in the final minute, with Josh Anderson scoring on an odd-man rush. 

Buffalo held Columbus in check during the first period, only surrendering a lone goal to Oliver Bjorkstrand 12 minutes into the contest. Zach Redmond went to the box on a hooking call and the Blue Jackets were able to capitalize on the power play.

Jake McCabe ushered himself down to the dressing room with about five minutes remaining in the third, but he would return no worse for the wear a minute later. 

It was a performance that saw the Sabres deviate from their game plan and take a step back. Still, they’ve won two of the past three games and can rest up before their next game this weekend.

Buffalo hosts San Jose Saturday for a matinee with the puck dropping at 1 p.m.