NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Buffalo
(Monday, March 29th)
Final Score: Buffalo 6, Columbus 0
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Dmitri Kalinin posted the first two-goal game of his career and Martin Biron made 23 saves, helping the Buffalo Sabres inch closer to a playoff position with a 6-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at HSBC Arena.
The Sabres are now just three points behind the New York Islanders for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams now have three games remaining.
"They've got to be feeling a little heat now," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We want to put a lot of pressure on them."
Biron recorded his second shutout of the season for Buffalo, which remained unbeaten in its last five contests overall (4-0-1). Derek Roy and Maxim Afinogenov each had a goal and an assist in the win, the Sabres' third straight on home ice.
Fred Brathwaite allowed all six goals for the Blue Jackets, who had a four- game winning streak come to an end.
Buffalo dominated from the start, applying relentless pressure on Brathwaite and Columbus. The domination eventually paid off when Kalinin scored his first goal just 6:07 into the game.
Kalinin, a defenseman, jumped into the play and took a nice backhand pass from Jochen Hecht near the left circle. He fired a wrister that was denied by Brathwaite, but the rebound caromed off Columbus defenseman Scott Lachance's skate and into the net for a 1-0 Buffalo lead.
Some solid forechecking by the Sabres forced a turnover just over two minutes later, and Roy was the beneficiary. He took a pass from Afinogenov and fired a shot from between the circles past the glove of Brathwaite and inside the right post. Roy's ninth goal of the season made it a 2-0 game with less than 10 minutes off the clock.
The Sabres had complete control of the game in the opening period, holding a 15-6 shot advantage, while building a two-goal cushion.
The lead later reached 3-0 after Kalinin scored his second at 7:03 of the middle stanza. Kalinin joined the rush to create a 3-on-2 and, after some nice passing between Mike Grier and Chris Drury, took a drop pass from Drury in the slot and deposited the disc into the back of the net.
Afinogenov later added a goal when his one-timer from between the circles found the back of the net at 2:54 of the third period. James Patrick and Chris Taylor later turned the game into a bona fide rout with goals in the final six minutes.
Kalinin also added an assist in the win...The shutout was the 17th of Biron's career...Hecht now has six goals and 10 assists in his last 11 games...The Sabres won for just the second time in six all-time tilts against the Blue Jackets (2-3-1)...Drury has a goal and five assists in his last three contests...Patrick scored his first goal since January 17 against the Islanders, a span of 17 games. He now has four goals this season...Columbus had its two-game road winning streak halted.
03/29 23:55:19 ET