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Sabres shut out Columbus 3-0

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- Hello once again from the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box, for the last of three home preseason games. The Buffalo Sabres have one more upcoming on Friday, but this is it for the exhibition slate at First Niagara Center. Buffalo is 1-0 against their opponent tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets, having beaten them 3-1 back on September 17th.

The blue and gold's training camp roster has been dwindling down steadliy over the past week, and should get even smaller as we inch closer to the regular season. Jhonas Enroth will get the start in between the pipes, with Ryan Miller serving as the backup. For more on the line pairings, which include Tyler Myers and Henrik Tallinder back together on the blue line, click here.

Feel free to comment throughout the game in the thread below, while I add my thoughts in between the scoring plays. For more you can also give me a follow on Twitter: @PatWGR and while you are there, do the same for Brian Koziol: @BrianWGR.

First Period

18:36 - Steve Ott had a breakaway for the Sabres but could not beat Mike McKenna with a back handed attempt. Ott is wearing an 'A' as an alternate captain tonight, and I hope he wears that when the regular season rolls around. I think his role and minutes do not allow him to serve as the captain, but could be a valuable alternate. I would not want his style of play to change with the 'C.'

14:03 - Buffalo is going on the power play thanks to a strong forecheck by Christian Ehrhoff. If the Sabres have any hope of being a playoff team this season Ehrhoff and Tyler Myers are going to have to log big minutes. We saw two seasons ago that when they are in, and right, good things happen.

5:31 - What a boring game so far. Shots are 7-6, in favor of Columbus. There is no real flow at all.
End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: none
CBJ: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: 1:50 - Tyler Ennis (2 min., high sticking). 9:26 - John Scott (2 min., interference).
CBJ: 5:57 - David Savard (2 min., interference)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 8, CBJ - 9

Second Period

16:10 - Even an early PP for the Sabres cannot liven things up in this building right now. A ho-hum start to the middle stanza where there are three combined shots. Columbus holds a 2-1 edge, despite the two-minute penalty.

15:02 - SABRES GOAL. A delayed power play chance for Buffalo had Jhonas Enroth pulled and an extra attacker on the ice. Ville Leino was parked in front of the net and jammed the loose puck home to break the scoreless tie. 1-0 BUF.

13:00 - Patrick Kaleta is on the ice and trying to extend the Buffalo lead with some work around the crease area. The Angola native turned into a valuable member of the penalty kill unit last season. If he can stay healthy, and avoid the neck and hand injuries that have plagued him recently, he may be an asset on special teams again this year.

5:58 - Buffalo holds a one shot lead in this frame, and have had the better of the scoring chances. Penalties have helped quicken the pace and liven things up. The Sabres got a nice boost following their first PP chance, and parlayed that into a goal.
End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: 4:58 - Ville Leino (Cody Hodgson, Mike Weber)
CBJ: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: 10:53 - Ville Leino (2 min., high sticking). 15:51 - Christian Ehrhoff (2 min., hooking). 17:20 - Zemgus Girgensons (4 min., high sticking).
CBJ: 1:44 - Artem Anisimov (2 min., high sticking).

Shots on Goal

BUF - 7 (15), CBJ - 12 (21)
Third Period

15:00 - Five minutes into the period, and just one shot on goal. Another lazy frame thus far. Buffalo does not have the shot on goal, either.

13:49 - WOW. The 2012 First Round connection nearly paid off for Buffalo. Mikhail Grigorenko set up Zemgus Girgensons perfectly with a cross-ice pass in front of the net, but Jeremy Smith got his pad over and slammed the door shut. That was a beautiful play.

10:46 - SABRES GOAL. Oh, those dreaded two-goal leads. Mikhail Grigorenko released a solid wrist shot on the short side of Smith, who had the puck slide underneath his arm and trickle into the net. A nice goal for a player that has been very good at creating plays tonight. 2-0 BUF.

3:47 - Final media timeout of the game. Tonight's crowd was announced at better than 17,000, although many skipped the game tonight which is not out of the norm. It was probably a better proportionally than a Bills preseason game, if I can venture a guess.

:46.2 - SABRES GOAL. A very unselfish play by Mikhail Grigorenko to give up an empty net goal and let Zemgus Girgensons get the tally. Those two have been dynamic tonight. 3-0 BUF.

End of Game

Goal Summary

BUF: 9:10 - Mikhail Grigorenko (Drew Stafford, Mike Weber). 19:13 - Zemgus Girgensons (Mikhail Grigorenko, Mike Weber).
CBJ: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: 9:58 - Christian Ehrhoff (2 min., tripping).
CBJ: 16:39 - James Wisniewski (2 min., tripping).

Shots on Goal

BUF - 9 (24), CBJ - 5 (26)

All photos courtesy of AP
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Locations : BuffaloColumbus
People : Brian KoziolHenrik TallinderJhonas EnrothRyan MillerTyler Myers
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