Blue Jackets Blow 3-0 Lead In Ugly Loss to Sabres

By 1OB Staff on March 11, 2017 at 10:29 pm


This one won't go on the refrigerator.

Despite things looking pretty good after 20 minutes, the Columbus Blue Jackets slowly unraveled on Saturday night at KeyBank Center and let the Buffalo Sabres back in a game that they probably had no business being in. Goals from David Savard, Nick Foligno and Oliver Bjorkstrand gave the visitors a 3-0 lead with one period in the books, but Sabres coach Dan Bylsma played his cards right in the second.

He pulled Anders Nilsson - who looked shaky - and put Robin Lehner in net to start the middle frame. The Sabres responded, scoring only 18 seconds into the period on a Jake McCabe goal. Buffalo scored twice more in a physical, confrontational second period and the game was dead even at 3-3 after two periods. The Blue Jackets did themselves no favors with penalties and a few injuries popped up as well, but the players were not happy with how they responded to building a healthy lead.

"We didn't follow up (the first period) the right way," Foligno said. "That's a game we have to find a way to win. Tonight, we didn't, and it's unfortunate. It's disappointing we didn't come away with a win."

  1 2 3 F
SABRES 0 3 2 5

The Sabres used the second period to turn the game around, and Lehner certainly did his part to shut the Blue Jackets down. They had a handful of great chances - including a point-blank look for Cam Atkinson in the final minute - but Lehner made the saves and held Columbus off the board in the final 40 minutes.

Evander Kane scored the go-ahead goal on the power play with 2:29 left, and Jack Eichel iced it with an empty-netter at 19:56.

"(The first goal) gave them some life," head coach John Tortorella said. "It puts them right back in the game. When it was 3-2, we had a number of chances to make it 4-2 and I thought that was the most important part of the game.

"It's a tough game to lose being up 3-0."

Injury Update

Ryan Murray was a surprise starter tonight, returning from a lower body injury that kept him out two games. His return lasted all of one shift; he blocked a shot in front of Joonas Korpisalo (appeared to hit him in the hand) and did not return to the game. The Blue Jackets played most of the game with five defensemen.

Atkinson was cut by Marcus Foligno's skate after a questionable attempted hit by Foligno in the second period. He received stitches, Tortorella said, and eventually returned the game.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets wrap up a quick two-game road trip in Philadelphia on Monday night. It's their first visit of the season to Wells Fargo Center.

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