COLUMBUS, Ohio — Conor Sheary scored early in the third period to lift the Buffalo Sabres over the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Sheary and Evan Rodrigues each had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who won their first game back from a bye week and the All-Star break. They had lost four of five before the time off. Carter Hutton had 33 saves.
Sheary got the easy goal 2:12 into the third when he put back the rebound of Rodrigues’ shot, and the Sabres held off a late push from Columbus to lock up the win.
Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson each had a goal an assist for Columbus, and Sergei Bobrovsky had 29 saves.
The Blue Jackets, who also were coming off a bye week, lost their third in a row as they try to stay among the leaders in the Metropolitan Division. They dropped both ends of a back-to-back before the break after winning four straight.
Artemi Panarin was roundly booed by his home fans when he was introduced in the starting lineup. This was Columbus’ first game since Panarin’s agent said the star forward would not discuss a new contract until after the season. Panarin will be an unrestricted free agent.
Rodrigues opened the scoring 2:15 into the game when he put back Casey Mittlestadt’s rebound. Dubois tied it up for Columbus a minute later when he redirected Ryan Murray’s shot.
Later in the first, Rasmus Ristolainen flicked a nice pass to Sam Reinhart, who finished from the slot. Two minutes later, Tage Thompson beat Bobrovsky to give Buffalo a 3-1 lead.
Foligno poked a goal past Sutton on a power play 21 seconds into the second period. Before the Nationwide Arena crowd had finished celebrating, Skinner gave Buffalo a two-goal lead again on a breakaway.
The Blue Jackets scored two quick goals late in the second period to erase the Buffalo lead.
NOTES: Rodrigues has scored in each of the last four games and has points in six of his last seven. … Ristolainen has four assists in the last four games. … Columbus F Markus Hannikainen returned after being out since Jan. 8 because of an elbow injury. … The Blue Jackets called up centre Mark Letestu from Cleveland (AHL) before the game, but he was a healthy scratch. … Columbus F Boone Jenner sat out with an unspecified injury. Lukas Sedlak replaced him.
Buffalo: At Dallas on Wednesday.
Columbus: At Winnipeg on Thursday.
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Mitch Stacy, The Associated Press