Post Game: Sabres 3, Blue Jackets 0

Wednesday, 09.25.2013 / 9:30 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

FINAL: SABRES 3 | BLUE JACKETS 0

FIRST NIAGARA CENTER | BUFFALO, NY
W: Jhonas Enroth (BUF)
OTL: Mike McKenna (CBJ)





There was a theme to tonight's 3-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, and it was started with penalty trouble in the second period.

The Blue Jackets, playing their seventh of eight exhibition games and the first of a back-to-back set to close out the preseason, gave a youthful and speedy Buffalo Sabres team far too many opportunities to create offense, and especially so on the power play. Mike McKenna, who started the game between the pipes for the Blue Jackets, was a busy guy in his segment of the game, but Columbus held strong in a scoreless first period with a 9-8 shot advantage for the visiting side.


With a young lineup of their own (one filled with guys eager to prove themselves to the coaching staff and management), the Blue Jackets came out with a physical start and finished their checks all over the ice. They generated some scoring chances, made the Sabres defense work in its own zone, but were unable to beat Jhonas Enroth - who was very sharp for Buffalo.

For the first time in the preseason, the Blue Jackets were unable to score a goal and it wasn't for a lack of chances; they certainly had plenty of looks - including a 31-second two-man advantage in the second period - but could not capitalize. Buffalo took a lot of momentum from its penalty kill and took advantage of the tilted ice in the third period, where it tallied twice to put the game out of reach.

On the bright side, the Blue Jackets got quality goaltending from both McKenna and Jeremy Smith, who entered the game in the second period, essentially splitting time with McKenna. Those two guys are under a little more pressure now with Curtis McElhinney out of the lineup (lower body), potentially leaving the opening night backup goalie spot open for one of them.

With one preseason game remaining - Thursday night on home ice against Carolina - the Blue Jackets are expected to ice a loaded lineup for their final tune-up. Sergei Bobrovsky is slated to make the start between the pipes, and several regulars will be in the lineup for Columbus.
 




1. JHONAS ENROTH (BUF)
The Sabres netminder and supposed heir apparent to Ryan Miller was very good tonight, stopping all 26 pucks directed his way and nullifying every sniff of offense the Blue Jackets mustered. Included in his body of work were several saves on odd-man rushes and a solid effort on the Jackets' two-man advantage - the turning point of the game.

2. VILLE LEINO (BUF)
One of a few Sabres in search of a bounce-back year, Leino was noticeable tonight and tallied the first goal of the game, which eventually stood as the game-winner. He skated on the Sabres' second line and saw time on the power play, as well.

3. THOMAS VANEK (BUF)
The Sabres are counting on a big season from their star forward, who's entering the final year of a seven-year contract and carries an uncertain future along with it. Buffalo needs this guy producing to have a chance at returning to the postseason, and though he didn't score in this game, he was all over the ice and had a handful of chances.




VS. CAROLINA HURRICANES
NATIONWIDE ARENA
THURSDAY, 7 P.M.
                    

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 3 3 1 1 4
B. Dubinsky 3 0 4 0 4
M. Calvert 3 2 1 3 3
R. Johansen 3 1 2 0 3
B. Jenner 3 1 2 -1 3
D. Savard 3 0 3 1 3
C. Atkinson 3 1 1 1 2
D. MacKenzie 3 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 3 1 0 0 1
J. Skille 3 0 1 -1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 1 2 0 .904 3.32
 
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