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Sabres remain winless after 4-1 loss to Columbus



Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- Welcome yet again into the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box, high atop ice level at First Niagara Center. The good news for the Buffalo Sabres is that they picked up a point in their last game, but the bad news is that the team is still in search of its first win as they welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to town.

Ryan Miller is back between the pipes after a two game break to nurse a sore groin. Jhonas Enroth will go back to the bench to backup Miller. Also, Mikhail Grigorenko will find himself watching tonight's game from up here, instead of taking part. Head coach Ron Rolston is scratching the second year forward nin favor of Johan Larsson. You can read all about the move, including some thoughts from Rolston, by clicking here

Add your thoughts by using the thread below. I will add my two cents as the night goes along as well. Also, you can get more from myself and Brian Koziol by giving us a follow on Twitter: @PatWGR and @BrianWGR.

First Period

18:10 - BLUE JACKETS GOAL. After some good, sustained pressure inside of the Sabres zone Cam Atkinson jams home the second chance opportunity and Columbus has the lead. Tyler Myers let Atkinson go right by him at the side of the net and Ryan Miller had no chance. 1-0 CBJ.

16:50 - Patrick Kaleta and Cody McCormick try to get the Sabres going with a pair of fights in the Buffalo zone. Both Buffalo forwards got the better of their opponents, with McCormick teeing off on Dalton Prout a couple of times before they were separated. We will see if anything comes of it. 

14:15 - A good outlet pass by Mike Weber sprung Thomas Vanek for a scoring chance, but Sergei Bobrovsky was equal to the task for Columbus. Vanek came in from left to right and did not make much of a deke, but still got a good low shot off regardless.

11:10 - SABRES GOAL. Thomas Vanek goes between the legs on a nice one-time pass by Steve Ott to beat the Columbus netminder and tie the game up at 1 a piece. That was just a sweet play by the gifted forward to deflect the puck into the goal. 1-1 tie.

9:08 - We just saw the offensive side to Cody Hodgson's game that can leave folks wowed from time to time. Good vision to hold onto the puck long enough for Ott to go to the net and try for a one-time chance. It did not go in, but a good sequence none the less. The more that happens, the more pucks will go in the net.

3:25 - BLUE JACKETS GOAL. Tyler Myers and Mike Weber have not had a good night thus far. After play below the goal line,
Nick Foligno banked in to puck off of Weber's skate to give Columbus their second lead of the night. Myers was also in front trying to close off the lane, but to no avail. 2-1 CBJ.

1:12 - BLUE JACKETS GOAL. A two-on-one chance could not be defensed properly and results in a two-goal Sabres deficit. The dynamic duo of Myers and Weber were the rear guards on the sequence. 3-1 CBJ.


End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: 8:50 - Thomas Vanek (2) (Steve Ott, Cody Hodgson).
CBJ: 1:51 - Cam Atkinson (1) (Marian Gaborik, James Wisniewski). 16:35 - Nick Foligno (1) (Ryan Johansen, RJ Umburger). 18:48 - Marian Gaborik (2) (Cam Atkinsom, Ryan Murray).

Penalty Summary

BUF: 3:10 - Patrick Kaleta (5 min., fighting). 3:10 - Cody McCormick (5 min., fighting).
CBJ: 3:10 - Jared Boll (5 min., fighting). 3:10 - Dalton Prout (5 min., fighting).

Shots on Goal

BUF - 11, CBJ - 14

Second Period

17:49 - BLUE JACKETS GOAL. Some more shoddy defense in front of Ryan Miller helped Brandon Dubinsky pick up his first goal of the year. This one is getting waaaaaay out of hand. The blue and gold need a wake up, and soon. 4-1 CBJ.

12:46 - Miller may have pulled the puck from behind the goal line...

12:39 - Buffalo catches a break, and the puck did not cross the goal line. If the game gets to 5-1, you would think all would be lost for the Sabres.

10:13 - The blue and gold kill off the first minor penalty of the game. Mike Weber picked up an extra two minutes from before his fight with Nick Foligno. Columbus did not have any real chances. Good PK for Buffalo.

7:42 - What a save by Ryan Miller on Marian Gaborik. The forward waited what seemed like an eternity to take his shot as the netminder was sprawled with his glove hand extended. The puck settled nicely into the glove and no damage was done.

3:25 - The NHL's "war room" in Toronto just released a statement about the video review minutes ago. It was inconclusive whether or not the puck crossed the goal line, according to the league. As a result, the call on the ice was not reversed.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: none
CBJ: 2:11 - Brandon Dubinsky (1) (David Savard, Marian Gaborik).

Penalty Summary

BUF: 7:32 - Mike Weber (2 min., interference). 7:32 - Mike Weber (5 min., fighting). 10:36 - Tyler Myers (2 min., hooking). 16:14 - Marcus Foligno (2 min., interference). 16:14 - Marcus Foligno (2 min., unsportsmalike conduct).
CBJ: 7:32 - Nick Foligno (5 min., fighting).

Shots on Goal

BUF - 8 (19), CBJ - 15 (29)
Third Period

17:49 - If the Sabres have any hope of coming back tonight, they need to get a goal in the next two or three minutes. The longer this game goes, the harder it will be to make up the difference.

12:31 - The Sabres are outshooting Columbus 4-2 this period, but I am hard pressed to think of any real good scoring chances. Maybe Cody Hodgson's slapper at the side of the net counts as one.

8:43 - Vanek had a breakaway chance, wound up to the heavens, and was stopped by Bobrovsky's pads. It is one of those nights...

5:56 - The Sabres had their first power play of the night moments ago. You may not have noticed because the team did not take advantage or create many chances. 

End of Game

Goal Summary

BUF: none
CBJ: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: none
CBJ: 12:00 - Blake Comeau (2 min., holding).

Shots on Goal

BUF - 8 (27), CBJ - 4 (33)

Final Thoughts

So, this is what suffering looks like...

It is one thing to lose hockey games, but it is another to not be competitive in the game. That was the case tonight. A part of me thought that General Manager Darcy Regier was just tempering expectations when he mentioned a period of "suffering" to come before getting better, but I guess that is not the case. The team is now 0-4-1 to start the year. Let that sink in for a moment...0-4-1.

Next up for the Sabres is a trip to the Windy City. Buffalo takes on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks at eight o'clock on Saturday. Pregame with Brian Koziol starts at 7 p.m.


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