COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- It's taken three years for the Columbus
Blue Jackets to learn how to come back and win.
The Blue Jackets won for only the second time in franchise
history when trailing after two periods, scoring two power-play
goals and playing frantic defense at the finish to beat the Buffalo
Sabres 3-2 on Sunday.
"We did it the hard way,'' Columbus coach Dave King said.
Derrick Walser's first goal of the season with 9:50 remaining
improved the Blue Jackets to 5-5-1-0 -- the latest into a season
they've been at .500 in the franchise's three years.
"When it's a 5-on-3, it's quite a man advantage,'' said
Columbus center Tyler Wright, who scored the first goal as the Blue
Jackets scratched back from a 2-0 deficit. "It's a desperate
situation. We had some huge blocks.''
King said, "The whole game was epitomized by that 5-on-3.''
The Blue Jackets came in 1-75-4-2 when behind after two periods.
The only previous comeback win was a 2-1 victory over Anaheim on
Jan. 27, 2001, after trailing 1-0 going into the third period.
"They came out skating. They took it to us,'' Buffalo center
Chris Gratton said. "They're a fast team up front. Their
transition game tonight was really good and they moved the puck
around on the power play very well.''
Buffalo's winless streak was extended to six games (0-4-2-0).
After the game, Columbus forward Kevin Dineen hinted that he was
close to retiring. Blue Jackets spokesman Todd Sharrock said Dineen
had not made it official.
Stu Barnes and Jochen Hecht scored to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead
in the first period, but the Blue Jackets fought back.
Wright redirected Klesla's slap shot from the right point at the
4:36 mark of second period to make it 2-1. It was Wright's fifth
goal of the season and the 99th point of his career.
The Blue Jackets pulled even on Andrew Cassels' third goal of
the season. On the power play, his second whack at the puck on a
rebound found the net 4:06 into the final period.
"Anytime you get two goals on the power play, you have a much
better chance of winning the hockey game,'' Cassels said.
No. 1 draft pick Rick Nash set up Walser's decisive goal. After
Buffalo goaltender Martin Biron stopped Ray Whitney's rush to the
net, Nash got the puck behind the goal and slid a pass through the
crease to the high slot where Walser scored on a one-timer with
"I just happened to be sitting there,'' Walser said.
"Basically, I just shot it as hard as I could.''
Both of Columbus' power-play goals came after the Sabres were
called for penalties in the offensive zone.
Buffalo right wing Miroslav Satan had his string of 252
consecutive games -- the fourth-longest current streak in the league
-- snapped. Satan was injured in the third period of the Sabres' 1-1
tie Friday night at Edmonton. He was checked into the boards and
sustained hip pain and back spasms.
Columbus came in seventh in the NHL on the power play and
went 2-of-7. ... Barnes' goal was the 200th of his career. ...
Cassels has three goals and eight assists in the last seven games.
... Buffalo has never beaten Columbus (0-3-1-0).
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Nationwide Arena Location: Columbus, Ohio
Referees: Rob Martell, Dean Warren Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Brian Mach
Attendance: 18,136 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Stu Barnes (3)
Assist: Jochen Hecht
Jochen Hecht (4)
Assists: Dmitri Kalinin, Alexei Zhitnik
Tyler Wright (5)
Assists: Rostislav Klesla, Sean Pronger
Andrew Cassels (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Ray Whitney, Geoff Sanderson
Derrick Walser (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Rick Nash, Rostislav Klesla