The Columbus Blue Jackets lost their final game of the season, 5-4, to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at Nationwide Arena.
“It was a tough season for us. We’re disappointed in the outcome,” Jackets captain Rick Nash said.
The two teams got off to a slow start in their second meeting of the season.
Neither team was able to get past the other’s defense, leaving the first period of the game scoreless.
The pace picked up swiftly in the second, with the first goal of the night by Blue Jackets right wing Derek Dorsett at 4:15, which was answered three minutes later by a goal from Sabre right wing Jason Pominville.
“They were always sticking behind us,” Dorsett said on scoring his fourth goal of the season. “So I just took it around the goal.”
The Sabres earned their second and third points of the night later in the second period with goals from defenseman Chris Butler and left wing Tyler Ennis.
Jackets right wing Jared Boll answered the Sabres’ third goal with one of his own toward the end of the second, bringing the score to 3-2.
Great transitions and passing on the part of the Blue Jackets continued into the third period. Columbus left wing Kristian Huselius opened the period with the team’s third point of the night.
However, the Blue Jackets’ defense began to lag in the middle of the third, allowing Sabre right wing Drew Stafford and center Paul Gaustad each to score a goal, putting Buffalo up two against Columbus.
Huselius was able to score again later in the third, but it wasn’t enough to give his team an advantage, and the Blue Jackets fell, 5-4, to Buffalo.
“It was a spirited game,” Jackets coach Scott Arniel said in a postgame press conference. “We really got after them in the third period.”
Arniel said the team started out with the goal of making it to the playoffs, but fell short this season.
“I have a hollow feeling right now,” he said. “Not playing next week is a little unsettling.”