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Avalanche 4, Sabres 2

The SportsXchange

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With the way the Buffalo Sabres are starting games, it didn't take long for the Colorado Avalanche to bounce back from their first loss of the season.

Behind a dominant first period, the Avalanche skated to a 4-2 victory over the Sabres on Saturday night at the First Niagara Center.

Ryan O'Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Paul Statsny scored for Colorado, which improved to 7-1. Jean-Sebastian Giguere had 28 saves.

After a terrific start to the season, Colorado lost its first game on Thursday in a 4-2 defeat to Detroit.

The Avalanche were in control from the opening whistle, opening a 2-0 lead while holding the Sabres without a shot through the first 14:09.

O'Reilly opened the scoring at 8:44 with his third goal of the season. The 22-year-old buried a wrist shot past Sabres goalie Ryan Miller after a strong rush up ice from center Matt Duchene.

Landeskog made it 2-0 three minutes later on a pretty wraparound. The Colorado captain blew past two Sabres and a pokecheck from Miller before sliding around the Buffalo net for his second goal of the year.

Buffalo showed more fight in the second period, but not before the Avalanche increased their lead to 3-0. Duchene scored 56 seconds into the period on the power play.

Statsny made it 4-1 8:34 into the second on Colorado's prettiest goal of the game, finishing a tic-tac-toe passing sequence in front of the Sabres crease.

For the Sabres, it was their second dreadful start in a row. Buffalo received a loud Bronx cheer from the home crowd when Drew Stafford took the team's first shot on goal with 5:51 left in the first period. In a 3-0 loss to Vancouver on Thursday, Buffalo allowed eight shots in the first 1:49 and 19 shots in the opening period.

The score could have been worse without Miller's 22 saves.

Cody Hogdson and Marcus Foligno scored for Buffalo (1-8-1). Hodgson found the net on a blast from behind the right circle 5:31 into the second period, and Foligno roofed a wrist shot from the left circle 1:05 into the third period.

NOTES: Sabres D Nikita Zadorov played in his first NHL game. Zadorov, chosen 16th overall in June, had been out of the lineup with a finger injury. The Sabres have nine games to decide whether to keep him or send him back to juniors. ... To make room for Zadorov, the Sabres sent D Rasmus Ristolainen to Rochester. Ristolainen was Buffalo's other first-round pick this year (eighth overall). ... Buffalo is now the first NHL team since the 1995-96 season to dress four teenagers in a season (Zadorov, Ristolainen, C Zemgus Girgensons and C Mikhail Grigorenko). ... Sabres assistant coach Joe Sacco went up against his former team for the first time since joining the Sabres. Sacco was Colorado's coach from 2009-13. ... Scratched for the Avalanche were D Nick Holden, D Tyson Barrie and LW Cody McLeod. ... Scratched for the Sabres were C Cody McCormick, C Kevin Porter and RW Patrick Kaleta.
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