for this game

Fritsche's third-period goal leads Blue Jackets past Sabres

Jan 27, 2007 - 4:21 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- The month of January had not been good to Dan Fritsche until the Buffalo Sabres came calling.

Fritsche registered only his fourth point of the month with a game-winning goal as the Columbus Blue Jackets edged the Sabres, 3-2.

Columbus improved to 3-4-1 in its last eight games, while Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo is 2-4-1 in its last seven.

"It was like three hockey games. We were good early, they were really good in the second and then we were able to take it back in the third," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "It was a very intense hockey game from our standpoint. These are good tests against teams like Buffalo, Detroit, and Nashville. You are not going to outplay them on a period-by-period basis. You just have to match their intensity."

"It's a tough way to lose," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We knew they were going to come and apply some pressure. We made a couple mistakes, and they took advantage of them. We had our opportunity to put them away. We didn't."

Fritsche entered with only two goals and an assist in nine games this month before netting the decisive tally, his 10th of the season, midway through the third period.

Fritsche skated to the corner of the Sabres crease and poked in a rebound of Jason Chimera's shot past goaltender Ryan Miller at 9:23 to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead.

"It was nice, it has been awhile, that's for sure," Fritsche said. "I was right there, it was a shot. I don't remember where it came from, but I was waiting for the loose puck. It (the puck) was bouncing around and I just kept fishing for it and it went in."

Rick Nash and defenseman Rostislav Klesla scored the two other goals for Columbus.

Nash, who had two goals and two assists in Wednesday's NHL All-Star Game, gave Columbus a 1-0 lead at 12:09 of the first period on the power play, blasting a shot from the slot between Miller's pads.

"It was a lucky one, but those are the ones you need to get you going sometimes," Nash said.

Klesla's goal tied the game at 2-2 at 5:22 of the third period when he fired a shot from the slot over Miller's glove for his seventh of the season. His career high is eight goals, scored in 75 games during the 2001-02 season.

Chris Drury scored two power-play goals for the Sabres, who are 2-4-1 in their last seven games.

"We are glad to get the power play going a little bit," Drury said. "It's something we have been working on pretty hard. We hope it continues."

Columbus netminder Fredrik Norrena made 36 saves to record his second win in his last six starts. Miller made 23 saves.

The Blue Jackets host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday before embarking on a three-game road trip.

"It was important tonight to get our homestand off to a good start," Fritsche said. "This is a win we can build on."








  • ------------------------------------
    Buffalo
    1 1 0 --2
    Columbus 1 0 2 --3
    ------------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Columbus, Rick Nash 14 (power play) (Sergei
    Fedorov, David Vyborny), 12:09. 2, Buffalo, Chris Drury 25 (power
    play) (Daniel Briere, Nathan Paetsch), 15:57. Penalties: A Johnson,
    Cob (high sticking), 6:08; J Shelley, Cob (roughing),

    Jan 26 9:52 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: COB - DAN FRITSCHE 10 (JASON CHIMERA, MANNY MALHOTRA) 9:23

    Sabres vs. Blue JacketsJan 26 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    COLUMBUS 2
    3RD PRD: COB - ROSTISLAV KLESLA 7 (MANNY MALHOTRA, JASON CHIMERA) 5:22

    Sabres vs. Blue JacketsJan 26 9:05 PM


  • ------------------------------
    Buffalo
    1 1 --2
    Columbus 1 0 --1
    ------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Columbus, Rick Nash 14 (power play) (Sergei
    Fedorov, David Vyborny), 12:09. 2, Buffalo, Chris Drury 25 (power
    play) (Daniel Briere, Nathan Paetsch), 15:57. Penalties: A Johnson,
    Cob (high sticking), 6:08; J Shelley, Cob (roughing), 9:31; P Gaustad,
    Buf (r

    Jan 26 8:40 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    COLUMBUS 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) CHRIS DRURY 26 (DANIEL BRIERE, ALES KOTALIK) 1:08

    Sabres vs. Blue JacketsJan 26 8:06 PM


  • ------------------------
    Buffalo
    1 --1
    Columbus 1 --1
    ------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Columbus, Rick Nash 14 (power play) (Sergei
    Fedorov, David Vyborny), 12:09. 2, Buffalo, Chris Drury 25 (power
    play) (Daniel Briere, Nathan Paetsch), 15:57. Penalties: A Johnson,
    Cob (high sticking), 6:08; J Shelley, Cob (roughing), 9:31; P Gaustad,
    Buf (roughing), 9:31; D Kalini

    Jan 26 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - (PP) CHRIS DRURY 25 (DANIEL BRIERE, NATHAN PAETSCH)
    15:57

    Sabres vs. Blue JacketsJan 26 7:41 PM