Sabres rally from three down, top Blue Jackets 5-3
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Evander Kane scored a power-play goal with 2:29 remaining and the Buffalo Sabres rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 on Saturday night.
Sam Reinhart, Matt Moulson and Jake McCabe scored to tie it and Jack Eichel added an empty-netter for Buffalo. The Sabres snapped an 0-3-1 skid and improved to 2-6-2 in their last 10. Robin Lehner stopped all 24 shots he faced after taking over for Anders Nilsson to start the second period. Nilsson was yanked after giving up three goals on 12 shots.
Nick Foligno, Oliver Bjorkstrand and David Savard scored for Columbus. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 26 shots.
The Blue Jackets (43-17-6) had a three-game winning streak snapped and blew a chance to set a franchise record for most wins in a season.
The teams split a home-and-home series after the Blue Jackets beat Buffalo 4-3 on Friday night.
On Saturday, the Sabres trailed 3-0 in the first period before scoring three times in the second.
Kane then sealed it while Boone Jenner was serving a penalty for hooking Ryan O'Reilly.
Eichel set up the goal by circling the puck along the left boards in the Blue Jackets zone. He threaded a pass through the crease to Kane, who snapped a shot inside the right post before Korpisalo could get across.
Lehner's best save came with 34 seconds remaining during a scramble in front. The puck bounced through the crease to Columbus' leading scorer Cam Atkinson, who snapped it at the net only to be stopped by Lehner, who kicked out his right pad just in time.
The Blue Jackets avoided a major scare midway through the second period when Atkinson headed to the locker room holding the back of his left shoulder after appearing to be cut by Sabres forward Marcus Foligno's skate blade. Foligno inadvertently stepped on Atkinson's shoulder during a scramble in the corner, and his skate cut through Atkinson's jersey.
Atkinson missed the final 10:39 of the second period before returning for the start of the third.
Buffalo defenseman Cody Franson left 5:39 into the third when his face was bloodied after he was struck by Savard's shot from the right point.
The Blue Jackets scored three times on their first 10 shots, and Bjorkstrand capped the surge with 2:04 left. After McCabe coughed the puck up in his own end, Bjorkstrand scored by converting Sam Gagner's pass through the crease.
Buffalo was booed off the ice after the period, but then McCabe scored 18 seconds into the second.
Moulson scored a little over five minutes later by converting his own rebound for a power-play goal, and Reinhart tied the game at 3 by snapping a shot through a crowd from the right circle with three seconds left in the middle period.
The game grew increasingly chippy in the second, which ended with Scott Hartnell and Zach Bogosian squaring off following the horn. Hartnell, Bogosian and Buffalo's Nicolas Deslauriers each drew 10-minute misconducts.
Things became so feisty that even the Foligno brothers got involved in a shoving match in front of the Columbus net with 11 minutes left.
Blue Jackets D Ryan Murray did not return after hurting his right hand in the opening minutes of the game. ... Newly acquired Blue Jackets D Kyle Quincey was scratched for the first time in six games since being acquired in a trade with New Jersey on March 1. ... Nilsson was making just his third start in 16 games.
Columbus: At Philadelphia on Monday.
Buffalo: Open three-game California swing at San Jose on Tuesday.