Sabres struggle at home with 5-1 loss to the Avalanche

BUFFALO, NY (AP)– Alex Tanguay scored twice, Calvin Pickard made 28 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 on Saturday night.

Colorado also got goals from Cody McLeod, John Mitchell and Erik Johnson in ending a two-game skid.

Last-minute call-up Johan Larsson scored his first NHL goal for the Sabres, who had won six straight home games.

Colorado has won its last eight against Buffalo dating to 2005.

It took the Avalanche just 2:23 to score. Johnson skated through a check from Larsson to put a pass from Nathan MacKinnon past goalie Jhonas Enroth.

Larsson nearly found redemption at the other end when he got free in the slot, but his quick wrist shot was scooped by Pickard.

The Sabres had several chances to tie the game during their first power play, but Pickard made a number of saves, including an in-close stop of Zemgus Girgensons.

Colorado picked up a short-handed goal moments later when Ryan O’Reilly found McLeod on a 3-on-2 to make it 2-0.

It was Buffalo’s fifth short-handed goal allowed this season, tied for the highest total in the NHL.

Colorado got its third goal 1:51 into the third when Jarome Iginla sent a cross-ice pass to a wide-open Tanguay, who beat a sliding Enroth over the left shoulder.

Mitchell beat Enroth between the legs at the 5:09 mark.

Larsson one-timed Chris Stewart’s pass into the net, ruining Pickard’s shutout hopes with 6:33 to play.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan pulled Enroth with nearly four minutes remaining, and Buffalo drew a penalty with the man advantage. Pickard held strong, however, including a glove save on Tyler Ennis.

Buffalo lost Patrick Kaleta in the first period and Tyler Myers in the second, finishing the game with 16 available skaters.

Enroth made 18 saves in the loss.

NOTES: Buffalo had to call up Mikhail Grigorenko from Rochester on Saturday morning when Torrey Mitchell was deemed unfit to play, and then recalled Larsson just before game time after Matt Moulson fell ill. … The Sabres went 0 for 4 on the power play. … It was Larsson’s 34th NHL game. He’s played 33 with Buffalo and one with Minnesota. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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