On the back end of a home-and-home with the Buffalo Sabres, the Jackets were looking for the two game sweep after winning last night in Nationwide Arena.
With Sergei Bobrovsky and Robin Lehner facing off on Friday, last night’s goaltending matchup featured Joonas Korpisalo against Anders Nilsson.
The Jackets received some good news with Ryan Murray returning to the lineup, but the party would be short-lived, as Murray left the game after blocking a shot with his hand, playing just 1:44.
The Jackets would open the scoring. Sam Gagner entered the Buffalo zone with the puck, dishing it to a streaking David Savard. Savard wired a shot high over Nilsson’s glove, giving him goals in back-to-back games.
1-0 Jackets: David Savard (Sam Gagner, Scott Hartnell)
The away team would continue to dictate play, going up by two goals with six minutes left in the period when Nick Foligno pulled off a dirty toe drag to beat Jake McCabe, wiring the puck past Nilsson.
2-0 Jackets: Nick Foligno (Brandon Saad, Zach Werenski)
Late in the opening period Scott Hartnell would blow a tire in the Buffalo end, taking a defender out with him. This allowed a two-on-one scenario for Gagner and Oliver Bjorkstrand, with the former feeding the latter for the goal.
3-0 Jackets: Oliver Bjorkstrand (Sam Gagner)
The shots were 12-6 CBJ after one period.
The Sabres would start the second period with Lehner in the net, and just 18 seconds in they would get on the board with McCabe making up for getting beat badly by Foligno earlier. McCabe’s shot beat Korpisalo with Evander Kane providing the screen.
3-1 Jackets: Jake McCabe (Nicolas Deslauriers, Evander Kane)
The Sabres were a new team after the intermission and with Lehner in net. The momentum shifted entirely in Buffalo’s favor, and the Sabres would cut the lead to one with Jack Johnson in the box for holding. Matt Moulson potted scored from in-tight to make it 3-2.
3-2 Jackets: Matt Moulson (Brian Gionta, Zach Bogosian)
The Jackets would be denied on consecutive partial breakaways by Saad and Foligno, but otherwise it was all Sabres.
The game started to devolve midway through the second period. Brandon Dubinsky laid a hard, but clean hit on Tyler Ennis on the end boards. Marcus Foligno followed this up with a hit attempt on a vulnerable Cam Atkinson, who was on one knee along the boards. This got the rightful attention of Dubinsky, who went after Foligno the younger. While the two were mixing it up, Foligno pushed off Cam’s shoulder with his skate, lacerating his sweater and forcing a trip to the dressing room for repairs. Cam would return later in the game. The result was a Columbus powerplay after the dust settled, but the Jackets were unable to convert while up a man.
With 2.9 seconds left in the second period, Sam Reinhart tied the game with a goal through traffic.
3-3: Sam Reinhart (Rasmus Ristolainen)
What I wouldn’t give to have Risto on the Jackets...
With the broadcast going to commercial at the end of the period, there was some rough stuff between Scott Hartnell and Marcus Foligno. Bogosian stepped in for the Sabres, and Deslauriers got involved as well. The result was 3 minors and a misconduct for Hartnell, two minors and a misconduct for Bogosian and a misconduct for Deslauriers.
The Jackets would push back a bit in the third period, coming close to scoring when Savard sent a puck off the chin of Cody Franson and then the crossbar. A late powerplay chance bore no fruit, but then Boone Jenner was called for hooking Ryan O’Reilly, and on the subsequent powerplay Evander Kane scored on the back door to give the Sabres their first lead of the game.
4-3 Sabres: Evander Kane (Jack Eichel, Rasmus Ristolainen)
With about a minute left in regulation Korpisalo was pulled, and Eichel scored on the empty net to cap the scoring, giving the Sabres five unanswered goals.
5-3 Sabres: Jack Eichel (Ryan O’Reilly)
FINAL SCORE: 5-3 Sabres
The Jackets are back in action Monday night in Philadelphia.