|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 27, 2018
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio Attendance: 15,642
Sabres look for fourth straight win vs. Blue Jackets
Buffalo Sabres at Columbus Blue Jackets
- Buffalo has won three straight, outscoring opponents 13-6. The Sabres had 13 total goals in their first seven games of the season.
- The Blue Jackets beat the Blues, 7-4, in St. Louis after losing two straight at home. They are averaging 5.20 goals in wins compared to 1.25 goals in losses. That 3.95 goal difference is the second largest in the NHL (Flyers, 4.17).
- Columbus took two of the three games against Buffalo last season, winning the first two and dropping the last matchup. Last season, Buffalo's -30 goal differential in the first period was the worst in the NHL; Columbus' +14 goal differential in the first was tied for the fourth best in the NHL.
- Jeff Skinner had three assists in the Sabres' 4-3 win over Montreal and now has eight points in his last four games. His 10 points this season are tied for the most through a skaters' first 10 career games with Buffalo since Steve Heinze (12) in 2000-01.
- Artemi Panarin leads the team with 12 points after recording three assists against St. Louis. All 12 points from Panarin have come in their wins -- he has yet to record a goal or assist in the team's four losses.
- The Sabres are allowing 2.40 goals per game on the road this season, fifth best in the NHL. Last season, they allowed 3.39 goals per game on the road, tied for the third most in the NHL.
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Buffalo Sabres, playing with a sharper edge so far this season, will try to extend their three-game winning streak on Saturday night when they visit Nationwide Arena to face the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Sabres (6-4-0) feel a different vibe with this team. They like how they're playing after rallying from three one-goal deficits in the final two periods on Thursday night to get past the visiting Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Kyle Okposo scored the winning goal on a power play with 1:01 remaining for Buffalo, which is off to its best start after 10 games since the 2011-12 season.
"We bent, we didn't break," Okposo said, according to the team's website. "And I don't even think we bent. We just played the same way. That's all we did."
Jason Pominville contributed two goals -- his 27th career multi-goal game and his first since last October -- in the winning effort.
"Last year, we probably would've got in our shell and wouldn't have had a pushback, a fight back," Pominville said. "But now it's a different team."
Pominville's 497 points rank 10th in franchise history, tying him with Thomas Vanek. But he knows a team is only as good as its last game.
"We've got to make sure we keep going, come to practice and move on," Pominville said. "But, yeah, it shows a lot about the character this group has."
The veteran Pominville has produced six points (three goals, three assists) in the last three games as a result of aggressively crashing the net on a line that includes Jeff Skinner and Jack Eichel. Skinner leads the Sabres in scoring with 10 points (five goals, five assists) and Eichel is right behind with nine (3-6).
"Jason's just done a good job of going there," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "He's been rewarded. ... That's one of the things we've been focusing on, driving to the net hard and stopping there and paying a price."
The Blue Jackets (5-4-0) are feeling better about their game after ending a two-game losing streak with a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night in St. Louis.
After falling behind 2-0 in the opening period, the Blue Jackets reeled off four straight goals and kept the Blues at bay.
Boone Jenner and Anthony Duclair each accounted for two goals, and All-Star Seth Jones scored his first in his second game since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for the first three weeks of the season.
Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella harped on aggressiveness and that's what he got against the Blues.
"We were harder on pucks," Tortorella said. "We were cognizant of protecting the puck, taking hits to protect pucks. It was much more consistent on that style of game. Everybody contributed. We played the style we need to play."
Josh Anderson added a goal for the Blue Jackets to boost his team-leading total to five. Artemi Panarin is the club's points leader with 12 (three goals, nine assists).
"We were definitely a meaner team and playing that physical part of the game," Anderson said. "I think it's going to help us going into the next game too."
The Blue Jackets return home, where their record is 2-3 this year, and hope to play like they have on the road, where they're 3-1.
Backup Joonas Korpisalo was in goal for the win in St. Louis, improving his record to 3-0.
Blue Jackets No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has struggled to a 2-4 record with a lackluster 3.87 goals-against average and an .872 save percentage but is projected to start against Buffalo. He is 10-4-1 with a 2.50 GAA and a .921 save percentage lifetime against the Sabres.
Updated October 26, 2018