Boone Jenner's Late Goal Powers Blue Jackets to 4-3 Win over Buffalo Sabres

By Jason Priestas on March 10, 2017 at 9:57 pm

It wasn't their best outing of the season, but the Columbus Blue Jackets found another way to win Friday night.

Boone Jenner's slick backhander with 5:07 remaining broke a 3-3 tie with Buffalo and the Jackets held off a Sabre push in front of an empty net to secure another home win.

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The Blue Jackets have now won three-straight games for the first time since their franchise-best 16-game winning streak came to an end in January. The two points give Columbus 92 on the season, just three off the Washington Capitals for the NHL's best record.

Evan Rodrigues spotted the Sabres to a 1-0 lead three minutes into the opening period when he scooped up a Blue Jackets turnover at the blue line, skated into the slot and burned goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in the shelf over his right shoulder.

David Savard tied things up for Columbus with a blast from the point three minutes later. Center Brandon Dubinsky won a clean draw to Savard, who buried his fourth goal of the season.

With a little less than three minutes remaining in the first period, captain Nick Foligno put the Blue Jackets up 2-1 on a power-play goal. Foligno finished a pass from Zach Werenski with a nifty deflection past Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner.

Werenski's assist on the play gave him 40 points on the season, good enough for a new Blue Jackets rookie record, previously held by Rick Nash (39 in 2003).

Josh Gorges tied things up for the Sabres five minutes into the second period with a slapshot from the point, but Sam Gagner put the Blue Jackets back up, 3-2, with a power-play goal with 90 seconds remaining in the period.

The Blue Jackets would surrender their second lead of the game just five minutes into the third when Rasmus Ristolainen fluttered one off Markus Nutivaara's glove and past Bobrovsky.

All of this, of course, was just building up to Jenner's heroics.

Off a draw in the Sabres zone, Cam Atkinson fought for enough to slide the puck over to Jenner who worked his stick to his backhand, sliding the puck by Lehner for his 14th of the season.

The Jackets were dominant on special teams, holding the Sabres elite power play unit to 0 goals on only one extra-skater advantage on the night. Meanwhile, Columbus' power play, which has struggled a bit since the streak ended, converted two of their three opportunities against Buffalo.

The win improved the Blue Jackets to 11–0–1 in Friday night games. The club tied two franchise records on the evening, securing their 43rd win of the year – matching the win total from the 2013-14 season – and their 25th home win of the season, equaling the mark set in the 2008-09 season.

Did we mention the Jackets have 16 games remaining?

Three Stars

★★★ DAVID SAVARD: Scored the Blue Jackets' first goal of the night on a bomb from the point. Finished with three shots and 22:04 of ice time.

★★ SAM GAGNER: Recorded a power play goal and won 54% of his faceoffs on the night.

★ BOONE JENNER: Notched the game-winning goal with five minutes remaining in the third period; blocked four shots.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets travel to Buffalo Saturday for the final leg of a home-and-home series with the Sabres. With one more win, the Blue Jackets will break the franchise record for points in a season (93).

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