Buffalo Drops game against Columbus 7-3 | News, Sports, Jobs

Buffalo Sabers forward Kyle Okposo, right, controls the puck past Columbus Blue Jackets forward Max Domi during the second period of Sunday’s game in Columbus, Ohio. photo AP

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dean Kukan had two goals and an assist, Jean-François Bérubé stopped 33 shots in his first NHL start in nearly four years, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Buffalo Sabers 7-3 Sunday night.

Brendan Gaunce had a goal and two assists and Boone Jenner had a goal and an assist for Columbus, while Zach Werenski, Gus Nyquist and Justin Danforth also scored. Patrik Laine added two assists as the Blue Jackets won for the seventh time in nine games and swept the three-game season series with Buffalo.

Berube last played on April 6, 2018 for Chicago in a loss to St. Louis.

“That’s why I play hockey, to be here,” said Berube. “A lot of emotion tonight. I went through difficult times. I always kept my eyes where I wanted to be.

Mark Pysyk, Tage Thompson and Kyle Okposo scored for Buffalo. Craig Anderson stopped 32 shots in the Sabres’ third straight loss.

“We just looked tired” said Sabers coach Don Granato. “Tired games, tired mistakes, tired physically, a little tired mentally. We just couldn’t finish simple things.

Kukan gave Columbus a 3-2 lead at 3:28 of the second period with his second of the night, a wrist shot from the blue line that stunned Anderson to score his first two-goal and game opener by three points.

“We got off to a great start” said Blue Jackets coach Brad Larson. “I liked their legs. They were throwing pucks and playing very simply, and that got us into the game.”

Columbus looked to make it 4-2 less than a minute later, but Laine’s goal was ruled out for offside. Werenski, however, salvaged that goal at 8:16 with a perfect pass from Oliver Bjorkstrand making it 4-2.

Gaunce’s breakaway on a perfect pass from Laine at 17:43 of the second period gave Columbus a 5-2 lead, but Buffalo scored less than two goals with 32 seconds left in the second after Okposo pushed the puck into a scrum in front of the crease.

Nyquist scored an empty net with 36 seconds left, and Danforth went 7-3 with 4 seconds left in his first game since suffering a sprained knee Dec. 30.

Kukan put Columbus on the board 4:47 into the first, burying the second rebound Anderson gave up after a Blue Jackets barrage for his second goal of the season and first since Jan. 4.

“It was a really fun game” Kukan said. “It’s not every night that I score two goals – or even score. It was a fun night for all of us.

Pysyk tied Buffalo with 4:55 left in the first period on only the Sabers’ second shot of the game, for his first goal since Dec. 16.

Buffalo took a 2-1 lead on Thompson’s shot from the left circle with 2:26 remaining in the period, which tied him for the team lead with 20 goals.

That lead lasted just 10 seconds as Jenner buried a rebound from Jakub Voracek’s shot to pull Columbus even with their team-leading 21st goal of the season.

The Blue Jackets have come from behind in 15 of their 25 wins, including five of their last seven wins.


Max Domi’s assist on Kukan’s goal was the 200th of his NHL career. He is one goal away from 100 in his career and one point away from 300.


Buffalo’s Thompson has 22 points (10-12) in his last 20 games. Columbus’ Laine has posted points in nine straight games (10-8). Weresnki’s second-period goal extended his scoring streak to five games (2-4).


Elvis Merzlikins left Blue Jackets practice on Saturday with a lower-body injury and Joonas Korpisalo remains on the daily with an injury. To fill the gaps in goaltending, Columbus signed Jet Greaves to a three-year entry-level contract through the 2023-24 season. Greaves, 20, signed an American Hockey League contract with the Cleveland Monsters on July 30, 2021, made his professional debut with the Monsters and the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings this season.


Jenner’s first-period goal tied him with Nick Foligno at 142 in a Blue Jackets jersey, third on the franchise roster. Only Rick Nash (289) and Cam Atkinson (213) have scored more.


Tonight’s game capped the ninth of Buffalo’s 16-game winning streak this season, which began with a 5-3 loss to Colorado on Saturday. The Sabers are 3-5-1 in Game 1 and 1-3-4 in Game 2 so far this season.


Buffalo played without defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, who suffered a lower-body injury Saturday against Colorado. Robert Hagg took his place.


Columbus activated injured off-reserve forward Danforth after losing him for nearly two months with a sprained knee. Forward Trey Fix-Wolansky has been assigned to the Cleveland Monsters.


Sabers: In Montreal Wednesday night.

Blue Jackets: hosts Toronto on Tuesday night.

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