Sabres Look To End Skid Against Red-Hot Blue Jackets

7:00 PM



Last Game:


Buffalo: January 23 vs Hurricanes Loss 5-3



Columbus: January 23 vs Flyers Won 5-2



Buffalo: 13-29-7


Columbus: 26-20-4



Buffalo: 33


Columbus: 56

Rank In Conference:


Buffalo: 16th(8th in Atlantic)


Columbus: 7th(3rd in Metropolitan)

Goals For:


Buffalo: 86(30th)


Columbus: 144(T-8th)

Goals Against:


Buffalo: 138(15th)


Columbus: 139(T-16th)

Power Play Rankings:


Buffalo: 14.0%(28th)


Columbus: 19.0%(T-14th)

Penalty Kill Rankings:


Buffalo: 82.5%(13th)


Columbus: 80.3%(T-19th)

Shots For:


Buffalo: 1299(30th)


Columbus: 1429(25th)

Shots Against:


Buffalo: 1663(27th)


Columbus: 1531(16th)

Face-Off Percentage:


Buffalo: 47.1%(26th)


Columbus: 51.2%(T-12th)



Buffalo: 1263(13th)


Columbus: 1519(4th)

Blocked Shots:


Buffalo: 704(18th)


Columbus: 650(25th)

Team Leaders:




Buffalo: Moulson(15), Ennis and Hodgson(11), Stafford(7), Myers and Ott(6)


Columbus: Johansen(19), Atkinson(15), Umberger and Anisimov(13), Foligno(12)



Buffalo: Ehrhoff(17), Moulson(15), Hodgson(14), Ennis(12)


Columbus: Wisniewski(27), Dubinsky(23), Johansen(18), Tyutin(16)



Buffalo: Moulson(30), Hodgson(25), Ennis(23), Ehrhoff(19)


Columbus: Johansen(37), Dubinsky(34), Wisniewski(31), Atkinson and Foligno(27)



Buffalo: McNabb and D’Agostini(+1), Ellis, Adam, and Varone(EV), Kaleta and Larsson(-1), Sulzer(-2)


Columbus: Nikitin(+11), Tropp(+9), Dubinsky(+8), Savard(+6)

Penalty Minutes:


Buffalo: Scott(70), Konopka(63), Foligno(57), Myers(50)


Columbus: Dubinsky(78), Foligno(64), Boll(38), Wisniewski(37)



Buffalo: Ennis(115), Moulson(114), Stafford(108), Ehrhoff(103)


Columbus: Atkinson(138), Johansen(137), Dubinsky(114), Wisniewski(96)


Face-Off Wins:


Buffalo: Ott(296), Hodgson(269), Konopka(228), Ennis(135)


Columbus: Johansen(425), Dubinsky(312), Anisimov(305), Letestu(230)



Buffalo: Ott(163), Foligno(121), Weber(118), Girgensons(101)


Columbus: Comeau and Foligno(131), Dubinsky(126), MacKenzie(122), Jenner(119)

Blocked Shots:


Buffalo: Weber(77), Ehrhoff(71), Myers(64), McBain(59)


Columbus: Johnson(80), Murray(78), Tyutin and Nikitin(53), Savard(47)

Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:


Buffalo: Ryan Miller 12-19-3 2.64 GAA .925 SV% 0 SO


Columbus: Sergei Bobrovsky 17-11-2 2.53 GAA .916 SV% 2 SO



Last Meeting: January 18 Blue Jackets Won(SO) 4-3



Season Series: Blue Jackets Lead 2-0-0


All-Time: Blue Jackets Lead 10-5-1


All-Time at CBJ: Blue Jackets Lead 4-4-1

Upcoming Matchups:


Last Game Recap:

Sabres Unable To Weather Carolina’s Third Period Rally

The Carolina Hurricanes made the most of their only lead of the game against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Defenseman Andrej Sekera scored 9:50 into the third period to give Carolina a 4-3 lead. The Hurricanes held on to win 5-3 at First Niagara Center.

Cody Hodgson, Brian Flynn and Tyler Ennis scored for Buffalo with each goal putting the Sabres in front. Jhonas Enroth made 28 saves.

Alexander Semin tallied twice for the Hurricanes. Jeff Skinner also scored and Jiri Tlusty added an empty net goal with 0.8 seconds remaining in regulation. Anton Khudobin turned aside 26 shots.

Phil Varone, making his NHL debut, assisted on Flynn’s second-period goal for his first career point.

“It was a good feeling. It would’ve been a lot better in a win. It was fun, it was exciting,” Varone said. “I was glad to have my family here, but like I said, I wish it would’ve been in a winning cause.”

The Sabres are 0-3-2 in their past five games and have given up four our more goals in each of them.

“We’re finding ways to lose hockey games versus playing ways to win hockey games,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said.

Ennis put the Sabres ahead 3-2 just 49 seconds into the third period. After Drew Stafford rang a shot off the crossbar, Ennis, slapped a bouncing puck in from the left wing.

Ennis is now on a career-best six-game point streak with three goals and four assists in those games.

Carolina came back to score the final two goals 2:25 apart in the third period. Semin’s second goal of the game tied the affair and Sekera’s low slap shot from the point through traffic with 10:10 remaining put the Hurricanes ahead for the first time all game.

“It was nice to get the lead. Then as soon as we got the lead, we kind of sat back,” Ennis said. “They took it to us and that’s a tough loss.”

Tonight’s Preview:


Blue Jackets welcome Sabres seeking 9th straight win

Last 10: Buffalo 2-5-3; Columbus 9-1-0

Big story: The Blue Jackets and Sabres are streaking, but in opposite directions. Columbus comes to First Niagara Center hoping to extend its franchise-record eight-game winning streak. Buffalo, last in the overall standings, hasn’t won in its past five games despite scoring three goals in each.

Team Scope:

Sabres: After losing three in a row at home, the Sabres are looking forward to a stretch when they play four of their next five games away from Buffalo.

“Sometimes, you go on the road and it’s good for you when you’re in a little bit of a funk,” forward Matt Moulson told the team website after practice Friday at First Niagara Center. “You can play a lot simpler. There’s no one to impress on the road and you can concentrate on just grinding out wins. We’ll approach it like that, play a simple game and get wins.”

The Sabres are aware they’ll be trying to cool off the NHL’s hottest team.

“They’ve been great of late,” center Cody Hodgson said. “They’ve got a lot of firepower, and just the way they play the game is fast. We have to eliminate that.”

Blue Jackets: Columbus is in a stretch when it will play nine of 12 games at Nationwide Arena before a three-game California trip wraps up the pre-Olympic portion of the schedule, and the Blue Jackets are taking full advantage. Five of the eight victories during the winning streak have come at home, including 5-2 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

“We’re feeding off the crowd and the energy,” coach Todd Richards told the team website. “That’s probably been the biggest factor: our comfort level, our confidence level, and the energy of the crowd at Nationwide Arena.”

One tactical advantage home teams enjoy is getting the last line change. Richards said he feels all of his forwards are playing so well he doesn’t need to do a lot of matching.

“I’m not worrying as much about that because of how our lines are going,” Richards said. “We’re rolling four lines and giving guys ice time and are able to spread it around. We’re getting all four lines going, all six defensemen going. We have that depth going, and that’s big for us.”

Who’s hot: Sabres forward Tyler Ennis has a point in six straight games, including a goal Thursday in a 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. … Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and an assist against the Flyers, giving him six points in his past four games. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is 6-0-0 and has allowed 11 goals since returning from a groin injury.


Injury Report:


Buffalo: McCormick Upper Body(IR/Out), Porter Lower Body(IR/Out), D’Agostini Upper Body(IR/Out)


Columbus: Bass Broken Thumb(IR/Out), Boll Bruised Left Foot(IR/Out), Gaborik Broken Collarbone(IR/Out), Skille Upper Body(IR/Out)

Next 5 Games:


January 27 at Pittsburgh Penguins 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)


January 28 vs Washington Capitals 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)


January 30 at Phoenix Coyotes 9:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)


February 1 at Colorado Avalanche 3:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)


February 3 vs Edmonton Oilers 7:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)


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