It was a boxy attempt adjoin the NHL’s affliction team, but the Buffalo Sabres survived Thursday night to assuredly column a acceptable band in February.
The Sabres captivated off the Colorado Avalanche, 2-0, afore 18,335 in KeyBank to win two amateur in a row for the aboriginal time this month. Sam Reinhart’s power-play ambition in the aboriginal minute of the additional gave Buffalo the alone breach it would charge and Robin Lehner fabricated it angle up for his additional annihilation of the season.
The Sabres had alternated loss-win for their aboriginal eight amateur in February, activity 4-3-1, and had not won afterwards amateur back demography three in a row from Jan. 20-24.
It was the fifth beeline accident for hapless Colorado, which is 0-10-1 in its aftermost 11 amateur on the alley back an overtime win Dec. 23 in Chicago.
Cashing in: The Sabres were 0 for 2 on the ability comedy in the aboriginal aeon but didn’t appear up abandoned on their third adventitious as they opened the scoring on Reinhart’s ambition at 48 abnormal of the additional period. Reinhart corraled the backlash of Rasmus Ristolainen’s point attempt and shoveled the bogie amid the legs of Colorado goalie Calvin Pickard.
Clinching the win: Afterwards a acid third period, Evander Kane gave the Sabres the breath allowance they bare on a ambition with 4:14 left, acid accomplished Avs defenseman Francois Beauchemin and sliding the bogie amid Pickard’s legs. It was Kane’s team-high 19th ambition of the division — and NHL-leading 18th at alike backbone back Dec. 1.
Holding bottomward the fort: Buffalo outshot the Avalanche, 32-23, and Colorado had aloof 11 shots on ambition admitting the aboriginal two periods. The Sabres had accustomed up at atomic 30 shots on ambition for the aftermost 16 games. The cardinal was 40 or aloft in four of the antecedent bristles games.
Kane is able, praises Lehner: Kane alternate to the calendar afterwards missing one d due to the flu. Afterward the morning skate, Kane had big acclaim for the way Lehner accurate his assessment about the team’s 4-2 accident to Vancouver, both afterwards the d Sunday night and afresh afterward convenance Monday.
Lehner fabricated 39 saves in Buffalo’s 3-2 win Tuesday in Ottawa, including all 11 shots he faced during a Senators flurry over the final 5 1/2 account of the additional period.
“We’re appealing acceptable accompany off the ice and he’s a guy who isn’t abashed to say what he thinks and that’s what I like about him,” Kane said. “When you say article and go out and do it, that way you get account and you’re accustomed to say what you appetite to say because you’re activity out there and abetment it up. I’ve consistently been a big accepter in talking the allocution and walking the walk. It was abundant to see him do that the added night and appear up big for our team. Afterwards him, we apparently don’t win that game.”
Closing in on a century: Ristolainen’s abetment on Reinhart’s ambition gave him 99 career points. He has 34 credibility this year, including a team-high 30 assists.
Knocked from the lineup: Centermost Derek Grant larboard the d afterwards the aboriginal aeon with what the aggregation angry a larboard accept abrasion afterwards demography a hit forth the boards. Grant played his 46th d of the division for the Sabres over two stints afterwards scoring a goal.
Busy night from up high: With the NHL barter borderline looming on March 1 and the last-place Avs accepted to be above sellers, there were scouts from 18 teams listed on the columnist box basement chart. While the Sabres accept some unresticted chargeless agents they may allotment with, the Avs could be attractive at a barter of captain Gabriel Landeskog or No. 2 centermost Matt Duchene.
Up next: The Sabres accept two added amateur above-mentioned to their bye week, both at home. The St. Louis Blues are actuality for a matinee Saturday at 1, with Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks actuality Sunday night at 6. The Sabres resume comedy afterwards the breach Feb. 25 in Denver adjoin the Avalanche.
The Blues, who accept been baking beneath new drillmaster Mike Yeo, completed the aboriginal ambit of a alley cruise of added than bristles amateur in their 50-year history with Wednesday’s 2-0 win in Detroit.
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