Eric Robinson's hat trick carries Jackets past Sabres

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Field Level Media
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Feb 28, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) and Buffalo Sabres right wing JJ Peterka (77) look for the puck during the first period at KeyBank Center.
Feb 28, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) and Buffalo Sabres right wing JJ Peterka (77) look for the puck during the first period at KeyBank Center.
Image: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Robinson scored his first career hat trick and Elvis Merzlikins made 38 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets recorded a 5-3 road victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Boone Jenner had a goal and an assist for Columbus, and Nick Blankenburg had two assists. Kent Johnson scored the Blue Jackets' other goal.

The Jackets are on a three-game (2-0-1) points streak.

Jack Quinn had a goal and an assist for the Sabres. Tage Thompson and JJ Peterka scored Buffalo's other goals.

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Merzlikins stopped 38 of 41 shots to earn his seventh win of the season. The goalie's strong performance was highlighted by a great glove save on Thompson's breakaway in the third period.

Robinson scored a goal in each period, the first two on shots from the slot when the Sabres left the forward alone in front of their net. Robinson's final tally was an empty-netter late in the third period.

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The loss ended Buffalo's three-game winning streak and continued the team's struggles on home ice. The Sabres are just 3-8-0 in their past 11 home games.

A high-energy first period got off to a fast start for both teams. Johnson put Columbus ahead with a power-play marker at 2:53 of the first period, but only 18 seconds later, Thompson equalized with his 41st goal of the season.

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After the first two Robinson goals, Jenner scored a highlight-reel tally late in the second period, with a tremendous individual effort to evade a defenseman and deposit his shot under the crossbar.

The Sabres reduced the deficit to one goal by the midway point of the third period, as Quinn and Peterka each scored goals. Peterka also came within inches of another power-play tally in the frame, but his shot rang off the goal post.

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Buffalo's Craig Anderson stopped 31 of 35 shots.

Vladislav Gavrikov and Joonas Korpisalo were held out of the Columbus lineup, and both players reportedly were dealt to the Los Angeles Kings in a deal that would net goalie Jonathan Quick and a first-round draft pick.

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The Blue Jackets made a move earlier Tuesday, trading forward Gustav Nyquist to the Minnesota Wild for a fifth-round pick in the 2023 draft.

--Field Level Media