Buffalo Sabres Casey Mittelstadt, correct, and Jeff Skinner celebrate soon after Mittelstadt scored against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday in Columbus, Ohio.
AP photo

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jeff Skinner had a objective and two assists, lifting the Buffalo Sabres to a five-two win more than the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday evening in the season finale for each teams.

Casey Mittelstadt had a objective and an help, and Victor Olofsson, Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs also scored for Buffalo. Devon Levi stopped 29 shots for the Sabres, who had been eliminated from playoff contention for the 12th straight season, the longest active postseason drought in the NHL.

“I believed our guys came out and had been dialed in, committed to the outcome,” Buffalo coach Don Granato stated. “Big win now. It didn’t occur early, but we stayed on it.”

Johnny Gaudreau and Tyler Angler scored for Columbus, which ended its season in 31st spot and is assured a single of the prime 4 picks in the NHL Draft. Jon Gillies stopped 24 shots just before getting replaced in the third period by Michael Hutchinson, who completed with seven saves.

“It’s the finish of the season and we know we’re out,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen stated. “It’s a complicated game all the way about.”

Gaudreau place Columbus up 34 seconds into the 1st period, but substantially of the second period belonged to Buffalo, which got objectives from Skinner, Olofsson and Tuch in a span of significantly less than six minutes.

Angler’s 1st NHL objective pulled Columbus inside a single with 1:36 left in the second just before Buffalo got third-period objectives from Mittelstadt and Krebs.

“We had a lot of probabilities early,” Skinner stated. “Their goalie produced some superior saves. We had to stick with it, and it paid off.”


Tage Thompson, Buffalo’s leader in objectives and points, did not play due to an upper physique injury. Henri Jokiharju suffered a reduced-physique injury in the 1st period and did not return. He skated just two:43. Gilles suffered a reduced physique injury in the second period and did not return.


The Sabres, who final produced the Stanley Cup playoffs in the 2010-11 season, are tied with the New York Jets for the longest active playoff drought across MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL.

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This game was initially scheduled to be played on Dec. 27 but was moved soon after inclement climate in Buffalo prevented the Sabres from traveling.


With his win tonight, Levi is a single of 3 goaltenders in Sabres history to win at least 5 of the 1st seven games of his profession, joining Jacques Cloutier (1981-82) and Don Edwards (1976-77).


Mittelstadt and Tuch each extended their point streaks to six games, the longest of their careers.

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