February 5, 2020 / 2:56 AM / 14 days ago

Burakovsky, Avalanche romp over Sabres

Andre Burakovsky tied his career-high in goals for a season and added three assists, as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the host Buffalo Sabres 6-1 Tuesday night.

Feb 4, 2020; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) is greeted by fans as he makes his way to the ice before a game against the Colorado Avalanche at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Valeri Nichushkin added a goal and two assists, and Samuel Girard, Nazem Kadri, Nikita Zadorov and Mikko Rantanen also scored for the Avalanche (29-16-6), who won for the fourth time in their past five games. Kadri and Zadorov also had assists, and goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves.

Sam Reinhart scored the lone goal for the Sabres (23-23-7), who dropped to 1-4-0 in their past five games.

Buffalo goalie Carter Hutton, who snapped an 0-8-4 skid dating to Oct. 22 with a 2-1 overtime victory against Columbus on Saturday, barely made it through half the game. Hutton allowed five goals on 13 shots before being replaced at 10:58 of the second period by rookie Jonas Johansson, who was making his NHL debut. Johansson allowed a goal on his first shot faced, then stopped the final 13.

The Avalanche scored twice in a 45-second span to make it 2-0 in the first period.

Girard scored at 13:12, picking up a loose puck in the right corner after a scramble in front and fired it into a gaping net. Most of the players on the ice, including Hutton, didn’t know where the puck was.

Burakovsky scored his 17th goal of the season, tying his output in 2015-16 with the Washington Capitals, on a two-on-two rush at 13:57 by putting a wrist shot into the upper left corner of the net.

Reinhart tipped Jake McCabe’s shot from the point past Grubauer with 0.9 seconds remaining in the period to cut Colorado’s lead to 2-1.

The Avalanche scored four times in the second to pull away.

Kadri scored 1 minute into the period on a wrist shot from the faceoff circle into the top right corner.

Zadorov made it 4-1 at 4:23 on a backhander through Carter’s legs from the slot.

Nichushkin ended Hutton’s night with a goal at 10:58. Cale Makar was credited with an assist, breaking the franchise record for most points by a rookie defenseman set by Bruce Bell with the Quebec Nordiques in 1984-85 when he had 37.

Rantanan scored on a rush with Nathan MacKinnon at 12:59 of the period to make it 6-1.

—Field Level Media

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