Compher, Francouz lead Avalanche to 3-2 win over Sabres

DENVER (AP) Martin Kaut received a chilly reception after scoring his first NHL goal.

For making a splash, he received one - a playful water-bottle celebration spray courtesy of Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog.

''My first NHL goal,'' Kaut said in admiration. ''I am so happy for this moment.''

J.T. Compher broke a tie on a wrist shot with 8:06 remaining and the banged-up Avalanche won their fourth straight, beating the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Landeskog also scored to help the Avalanche vault into second place in the Central Division.

''We're just trying to play complete games with all these guys out of the lineup,'' Compher said. ''I think we've done a pretty good job of that.''

Pavel Francouz was sharp in stopping 31 shots, including several sprawling saves in the closing minute after the Sabres pulled their goalie for an extra skater. Francouz was recently named the league's first star for the week.

Zemgus Girgensons and Curtis Lazar scored for the Sabres, who have dropped five straight to Colorado. Wayne Simmonds made his Buffalo debut after being acquired from the New Jersey Devils.

His first impression?

''Good team. Really good team. I think we played a strong game,'' Simmonds said. ''We didn't carry it for all 60 minutes, but I thought we played well for a large chunk of that game there. Unfortunately, we didn't come out with the equalizer there.''

Tyson Jost set up the decisive goal by winning a tussle for the puck behind the net and dishing it over to Joonas Donskoi, who then fed it to a wide-open Compher in front. It was Compher's 10th goal of the season.

Jost nearly scored his first goal since Nov. 30 with 17:22 remaining when he redirected in a puck that was near his shoulders. But it was waived off by officials due to a high-stick.

Carter Hutton had 31 saves for Buffalo - and some good fortune, too. He had one puck headed into the net in the second period before it deflected off the skate of a defenesman, clanked off the post and skidded harmlessly into the corner.

Francouz turned in another solid showing. A week ago, he went went 3-0-1 with a 1.46 goals-against average. He also recently signed a two-year contract extension, too.

''I still don't really know if the hockey world knows who Frankie is,'' Landeskog said. ''But he's proving it game by game.''

Colorado grabbed a one-goal lead in the first and second period, only to see the Sabres tie it up.

Kaut scored on a rebound early in the middle period. His mom happened to be in the stands, too.

''We celebrate tonight, probably,'' Kaut said. ''Just a little bit.''

Lazar then answered by deflecting in a shot for his first goal since Jan. 14.

In the first, Landeskog scored his 17th goal of the season off a backhanded pass from Compher. The lead lasted just 1:57 before Girgensons scored on a tip-in.

''Take the score out of it, it was a hell of a hockey game,'' Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. ''Right now, all that's at the surface is the pain.''

Despite his team being besieged by injuries, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic resisted the temptation to alter the shape of the squad at the trade deadline. They did add depth by acquiring Vladislav Namestnikov from Ottawa for a draft pick and got goaltender Michael Hutchinson from Toronto.

''We love the chemistry in our dressing room,'' Sakic told the media.

Landeskog appreciated that belief.

''We're happy with the guys we got,'' he said. ''We put ourselves in a position to do some damage down the stretch.''

Especially once they return to full health. They're missing forwards Matt Calvert (lower body), Nazem Kadri (lower body), Mikko Rantanen (upper body) and Colin Wilson (lower body), along with goaltender Philipp Grubauer (lower body).

''We have a determined group,'' coach Jared Bednar said. ''That's why we've been able to sustain these injuries.''

NOTES: Buffalo RW Kyle Okposo had an assist to stretch his points streak to five games. ... Sabres C Dominik Kahun was a scratch. He was acquired from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline. ... Avalanche F Andre Burakovsky was out with an illness. .... Bednar expects most of the injured players to be back by mid-March. ... Bednar looked sharp on the bench in his camouflage suit coat to commemorate the team's ninth annual Military Appreciate Night.

UP NEXT

Sabres: At Vegas on Friday in the second of a four-game swing.

Avalanche: At Carolina on Friday to start a three-game trip.

---

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Copyright 2020 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123T
BUF29-26-8
1102
COL37-18-7
1113
STARS OF THE GAME
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
R. Dahlin D00-100/0223:472
J. Eichel C00-160/0019:420
M. Frolik RW01110/0010:480
Z. Girgensons LW10110/1014:500
M. Johansson C00003/4014:110
H. Jokiharju D00210/0215:000
J. Larsson C01114/9016:453
C. Lazar C101210/5012:103
J. McCabe D01220/0017:111
C. Miller D00-130/0019:373
B. Montour D00030/0218:472
K. Okposo RW01121/1015:401
V. Olofsson LW00-151/0019:010
S. Reinhart RW00-135/10019:370
R. Ristolainen D00010/0024:137
W. Simmonds RW00010/1012:533
J. Skinner LW00010/1013:071
J. Vesey LW00100/0009:391
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
P. Bellemare C00-135/6215:340
I. Cole D00020/0018:411
J. Compher C11139/4021:180
J. Donskoi RW01120/0014:151
S. Girard D01-110/0018:280
R. Graves D00030/0218:582
E. Johnson D00-100/0018:361
T. Jost C01153/3017:421
V. Kamenev C01-112/1005:521
M. Kaut RW10-220/0011:131
G. Landeskog LW100210/5022:260
N. MacKinnon C01023/4022:221
C. Makar D00020/0022:350
V. Namestnikov LW00-120/0012:173
V. Nichushkin LW00020/0016:592
M. Nieto LW00-100/0011:330
L. O'Connor RW00000/1008:330
N. Zadorov D00020/0018:413
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
C. Hutton (L)343310.91258:31
GOALIESSA
C. Hutton (L)34
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
P. Francouz (W)332310.93959:57
GOALIESSA
P. Francouz (W)33
Jack Eichel shot on goal (Wrist shot)
BUF:GoalsShots
COL:GoalsShots
Full Play By Play
GOALS
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • COL
      11:54GOAL J.T. Compher (Wrist shot), Assists: Joonas Donskoi and Tyson Jost
  • 2ND PERIOD
    • BUF
      14:56GOAL Curtis Lazar (Tip-in shot), Assists: Jake McCabe and Michael Frolik
    • COL
      07:15(PP) GOAL Martin Kaut (Snap shot), Assists: Vladislav Kamenev and Samuel Girard
  • 1ST PERIOD
    • BUF
      16:21GOAL Zemgus Girgensons (Tip-in shot), Assists: Kyle Okposo and Johan Larsson
    • COL
      14:24(PP) GOAL Gabriel Landeskog (Wrist shot), Assists: J.T. Compher and Nathan MacKinnon
PENALTIES
  • 3RD PERIOD
    • BUF
      16:13Brandon Montour penalty Hooking - 2 min.
  • 2ND PERIOD
    • COL
      18:47Pierre-Edouard Bellemare penalty Holding - 2 min.
    • BUF
      05:38Rasmus Dahlin penalty Slashing - 2 min.
  • 1ST PERIOD
    • BUF
      13:30Henri Jokiharju penalty Tripping - 2 min.
    • COL
      01:21Ryan Graves penalty Tripping - 2 min.
TEAM STATS
BUF
COL
Shots on Goal3334
Goals in Power Play02
Faceoff Wins2432
Penalties32
Major Penalties00
Minor Penalties32
Misconducts00
TEAM STATS
BUF
Shots on Goal33
Goals in Power Play0
Faceoff Wins24
Penalties3
Major Penalties0
Minor Penalties3
Misconducts0
123T
BUF29-26-8
1102
COL37-18-7
1113
STARS OF THE GAME
6.1 %SHOT %8.8 %
0.912 %SAVE %0.939 %
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
R. Dahlin D00-100/0223:472
J. Eichel C00-160/0019:420
M. Frolik RW01110/0010:480
Z. Girgensons LW10110/1014:500
M. Johansson C00003/4014:110
H. Jokiharju D00210/0215:000
J. Larsson C01114/9016:453
C. Lazar C101210/5012:103
J. McCabe D01220/0017:111
C. Miller D00-130/0019:373
B. Montour D00030/0218:472
K. Okposo RW01121/1015:401
V. Olofsson LW00-151/0019:010
S. Reinhart RW00-135/10019:370
R. Ristolainen D00010/0024:137
W. Simmonds RW00010/1012:533
J. Skinner LW00010/1013:071
J. Vesey LW00100/0009:391
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
P. Bellemare C00-135/6215:340
I. Cole D00020/0018:411
J. Compher C11139/4021:180
J. Donskoi RW01120/0014:151
S. Girard D01-110/0018:280
R. Graves D00030/0218:582
E. Johnson D00-100/0018:361
T. Jost C01153/3017:421
V. Kamenev C01-112/1005:521
M. Kaut RW10-220/0011:131
G. Landeskog LW100210/5022:260
N. MacKinnon C01023/4022:221
C. Makar D00020/0022:350
V. Namestnikov LW00-120/0012:173
V. Nichushkin LW00020/0016:592
M. Nieto LW00-100/0011:330
L. O'Connor RW00000/1008:330
N. Zadorov D00020/0018:413
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
C. Hutton (L)343310.91258:31
GOALIESSA
C. Hutton (L)34
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
P. Francouz (W)332310.93959:57
GOALIESSA
P. Francouz (W)33
STARS OF THE GAME
123T
BUF29-26-8
1102
COL37-18-7
1113
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
R. Dahlin D00-100/0223:472
J. Eichel C00-160/0019:420
M. Frolik RW01110/0010:480
Z. Girgensons LW10110/1014:500
M. Johansson C00003/4014:110
H. Jokiharju D00210/0215:000
J. Larsson C01114/9016:453
C. Lazar C101210/5012:103
J. McCabe D01220/0017:111
C. Miller D00-130/0019:373
B. Montour D00030/0218:472
K. Okposo RW01121/1015:401
V. Olofsson LW00-151/0019:010
S. Reinhart RW00-135/10019:370
R. Ristolainen D00010/0024:137
W. Simmonds RW00010/1012:533
J. Skinner LW00010/1013:071
J. Vesey LW00100/0009:391
Total2403324/326-27
SKATERSGA+/-SOGFW/FLPIMTOIHITS
P. Bellemare C00-135/6215:340
I. Cole D00020/0018:411
J. Compher C11139/4021:180
J. Donskoi RW01120/0014:151
S. Girard D01-110/0018:280
R. Graves D00030/0218:582
E. Johnson D00-100/0018:361
T. Jost C01153/3017:421
V. Kamenev C01-112/1005:521
M. Kaut RW10-220/0011:131
G. Landeskog LW100210/5022:260
N. MacKinnon C01023/4022:221
C. Makar D00020/0022:350
V. Namestnikov LW00-120/0012:173
V. Nichushkin LW00020/0016:592
M. Nieto LW00-100/0011:330
L. O'Connor RW00000/1008:330
N. Zadorov D00020/0018:413
Total3603432/244-17
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
C. Hutton (L)343310.91258:31
GOALIESSA
C. Hutton (L)34
GOALIESSAGASVSV%TOI
P. Francouz (W)332310.93959:57
GOALIESSA
P. Francouz (W)33
GOALS
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD
PENALTIES
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD
  • 3RD PERIOD
  • 2ND PERIOD
  • 1ST PERIOD

123T
BUF29-26-8
1102
COL37-18-7
1113
TEAM STATS
3.29
GF AVG
3.47
GA AVG
.65
Power Play
3.84
GF AVG
3.00
GA AVG
.71
Power Play
All times are US/Eastern.