Alexandre Texier scored 2:08 into overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets overcame two blown leads on Monday night to beat the visiting Buffalo Sabres 4-3 for their first win of the season.
With 13:14 left in the third, Nick Foligno put Columbus up 3-2 with its second power-play goal of the night, thanks to some relentless pressure on Buffalo netminder Linus Ullmark (40 saves).
However, Columbus’ Boone Jenner took a penalty for pushing the puck with his hand off a faceoff with less than two minutes in regulation.
Victor Olofsson then converted Buffalo’s second power-play goal of the game, and the team’s sixth of the season, with a blast from right circle to make it 3-3 with 1:14 left in regulation.
Marcus Johansson and Jeff Skinner scored second-period goals as the Sabres, trying to start 3-0-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season, tied the game at 2-2.
However, the hard-working Texier kept the pressure on Ullmark and rewarded the Jackets with the winner in overtime after being outscored 11-3 while losing their first two games.
Playing in his 200th NHL game, Columbus’ Oliver Bjorkstrand, who had a career-high 23 goals last season, gave his team a 1-0 lead when he sent home a backhanded rebound of Seth Jones’ shot that deflected off both a Sabers player and the back boards.
Less than a minute later, Columbus made it 2-0 with the man-advantage.
Off a faceoff, Alexander Wennberg got the puck behind the net and found Cam Atkinson, who drilled one top-shelf by Ullmark with 55 seconds left in the first. It was the second of the season for Atkinson, who recorded a career-high 41 goals in 2018-19.
Buffalo, though, cut the deficit in half just 1:32 into the second period. Johansson nailed a quick one-timer from the right circle.
The visitors made it 2-2 with 8:02 left in the second when Skinner picked the pocket of Columbus defenseman Ryan Murray. After stealing the puck, Skinner turned and blasted a shot past Jackets netminder Joonas Korpisalo (15 saves) for his second goal of the season.
—Field Level Media