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Saturday, April 11, 2015
By +Scott Leffler

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In the upside down world that is the Buffalo Sabres hockey team's 2014-2015 season, a loss Friday night at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets had more Sabres fans cheering than booing.

The 4-2 loss to Columbus secured the Sabres the 30th spot in the NHL — and guaranteed them at least the second pick in the NHL 2015 Entry Draft, also known as Jack Eichel. The Sabres are still favorites for the first pick, assumed to be Connor McDavid, but if they lose the draft lottery, they'll get pick number two.

The Sabres went back and forth with Columbus until the third period, when the Blue Jackets pulled ahead.

Columbus scored first, just 14 seconds into the game. The Nick Foligno goal was assisted by Brandon Dubinsky and David Savard. Mikhail Grigorenko tied it for Buffalo 2:25 into the period, assisted by Brian Gionta and Marcus Foligno. Matt Calvert made it 2-1 Blue Jackets at 9:35, assisted by Savard and Jack Johnson.

In the second period, Gionta tied it again for the Sabres at 19:01, assisted by Tyler Ennis and Zach Bogosian.

Cam Atkinson made it 3-2 Columbus at 10:35 of the third period, assisted by Dalton Prout and Ryan Johansen. Boone Jenner added an empty-netter with 10 seconds to go to secure the Columbus win. Calvert and Johnson added the assists.

Tonight is fan appreciation night at First Niagara Center as the Sabres host the Pittsburgh Penguins to close out the season. The game will be preceded by a Party in the Plaza at 4:30 p.m.

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