“Cannon Fodder”-Sabres vs Blue Jackets 3/28/17

FINAL CBJ 3-1 BUF

GOALS

1st Period

CBJ Quincey Unassisted

CBJ Atkinson Assists: Jones, Wennberg

2nd Period

BUF Rodrigues Assists: McCabe, O’Reilly

3rd Period

CBJ Brandon Saad Assist: Anderson

SHOTS

BUF 42

CBJ 29

POWERPLAYS

BUF 1/3

CBJ 0/2

HITS

BUF 13

CBJ 10

Anders Nilsson got the start for the Buffalo Sabres against Sergei Bobrvosky and the Blue Jackets. Eichel, Foligno and Moulson attacked early on, nearly getting a 3 on 1 that was thwarted by Bobrovsky. George Michael Will Carrier blew past Werenski for a one on one opportunity against Big Bob that was shot directly into his stomach. Buffalo played a fast paced and risky game to start. Columbus took the first penalty of the game when Kane was tripped entering the Jackets zone. Before the stoppage of play Tyler Ennis bumped Dubinsky. Seth Jones came over and dumped Ennis to the ground, drawing a response from Kane.

Noticeably absent from the powerplay was Sam Reinhart, who didn’t see any ice time during the game, but present was Dmitry Kulikov. Buffalo did not get a shot on this man advantage. Watching this power play cam really make you realize how valuable Reinhart is to the unit.

Kulikov had another great period. It’s reassuring seeing his production and play pick up. Kyle Quincey put the Jackets on the board first with a slap shot off an Evan Rodrigues giveaway. Nilsson made a fantastic pad save seconds earlier making this one sting a little more. Adding to his terrific period was Dmitry Kulikov who crushed Scott Hartnell. Cam Atkinson scored his 34th goal of the year a minute later to put CBJ up 2-0.

Columbus went back to the powerplay with 35 seconds remaining in the period on an Evander Kane hook. CBJ took this man advantage into the 2nd period up 2-0.

Columbus began the 2nd period with a minute remaining on the powerplay. Buffalo successfulLay killed the penalty but had a hard time clearing the zone. Once they did it set up an extended rush in the Jackets zone. Evan Rodrigues poor play continued after he whiffed on a shot, ending the Sabres attack. Brady Austin sent the Blue Jackets back to the powerplay after tripping Nick Foligno.

Following the successful defense of the penalty the Sabres got a power play of their own, converting on it as E-Rod redeemed himself to make it 2-1. The Sabres power play improved to 7-3 in their last 10 attempts.

Buffalo controlled much of the latter portion of the 2nd and had several chances to tie the game but were stifled by CBJ’s defense.

As the 3rd period started Sam Reinhart remained benched with no explanation as to why he was. Brandon Saad beat McCabe for a poin blank opportunity that was stopped by Nilsson. Anders played a very good game. If there’s anything the Sabres have done well in this playoff drought it’s finding goaltenders.

Jack Eichel took a holding penalty 5 minutes into the 3rd. Buffalo’s PK was successful again to go to 3 for 3 on the night. Eichel created an odd man rush immediately after exiting the box but his pass to Kane was broken up by a d-man. Jake McCabe limped to the bench after blocking a shot with what looked to be the rib area.

Buffalo pulled Nilsson for the extra attacker with 1:30 remaining and it took only 30 seconds for Brandon Saad to score on the open cage, sealing the deal for the Sabres, 3-1.

Quick Thoughts:

  • Jack Eichel is an elite hockey player.
  • Where oh where was Sam Reinhart?
  • I can’t express how happy I am that Danny Briere is back on good terms with the organization.
  • I know I was critical of E-Rod, but is it too far fetched to think he will be a 20 goal scorer in this league?
  • Why does Matt Moulson look like he’s crying whenever he opens his mouth?
  • Good for the Jackets with the season they’re having. Columbus has the potential to be a big time hockey town.

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