THE AFTERMATH: BLUE JACKETS 4, SABRES 1
COLUMBUS (AP) - Dane Byers had a goal and two assists to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-1 preseason victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.
Grant Clitsome added a goal and an assist, and Jeff Carter and Ryan Johansen also scored for Columbus (3-1-1). Steve Mason made 19 saves.
Tyler Myers had the lone Sabres goal, and Ryan Miller stopped 23 shots for Buffalo (4-1-0).
Carter opened the scoring midway through the first period, slotting home a rebound with the Blue Jackets on a two-man advantage.
Clitsome made it 2-0 late in the period on a long snap shot.
Myers put Buffalo on the board in the third period with a close-range backhander on the power play. ...more.
With Mike Weber (boarding, 9:22) and Colin Stuart (tripping, 9:41) both in the penalty box, Columbus took advantage of this golden opportunity to get the early lead. Some nice puck movement by Alexandre Giroux and Grant Clitsome resulted in a glorious scoring chance, and Jeff Carter jumped in to capitalize on the rebound at 10:05 of the first period. It was Carter’s first goal in a Jackets uniform after being acquired from Philadelphia in June.
Dane Byers: The 25-year-old native of Nipawin, Saskatchewan, has one point in six career NHL games with the New York Rangers. He tripled his career point total today with a goal and pair of assists. Byers played for three different AHL teams (Springfield, Connecticut and San Antonio) last season, finishing with 46 (15+31) points and 161 PIMs in 85 total games.
- The NHL announced before the game that Brad Boyes was suspended for two preseason games for his illegal hit to the head of Toronto's Joe Colborne on Saturday. Boyes can return to the Buffalo lineup for the team's last preseason game in Germany against Adler Mannheim on October 4.
- The Sabres finished up a stretch of three games in a row, and four games in five days. This was the first time Buffalo had played three straight preseason games since 2001. "It's a tough schedule, I think it's a good test," said Ruff. "We had some players that didn't have a lot left in the tank and you could tell."
- Lindy Ruff dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen, with Marc-Andre Gragnani splitting time between forward and defense. Ruff said he wanted to see how Gragnani would perform in a dual role at this stage of camp. "It was more that there may be some times we utilize him in that situation where we play him as a forward or as a seventh defenseman, use him in special teams. I just thought tonight that with the way the lineup looked, it would be a good opportunity to play him a little forward, play a little defense and see how he handled it."
- Ruff only had three centers in the lineup, and even put Tyler Ennis in the middle for a few shifts during the game.
-Tyler Myers scored his first goal of the preseason, and now has two points in four games.
- Jason Pominville assisted on the Myers goal, giving him a point in each of his three games this preseason.
- Robyn Regehr wore the "C" tonight, making him Buffalo's fifth different captain of the preseason. Ville Leino and Andrej Sekera were the alternates.
- Buffalo had their streak of three straight games of scoring the first goal snapped when Carter got Columbus on the board in the first.
- The Sabres are now 138-147-48 all-time in the preseason, and 25-11-2 since the start of 2005-06.
- Buffalo and Columbus have now met 13 times in the preseason, and the Sabres lead the all-time series 8-5. The Sabres are 2-2 at home, 4-2 in Columbus. Three of the games have been played at neutral sites, and Buffalo owns a 2-1 record in those contests.
The Sabres have two preseason games remaining, and don't play again until they travel to Washington on Friday to face the Capitals (7 p.m.). Before opening the regular season in Helsinki, Finland on October 7 against Anaheim, the Sabres will play an exhibition game against Adler Mannheim (German Elite League) on October 4 in Mannheim, Germany.