Despite missing two key players the Buffalo Sabres turned it a great effort against the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night but just couldn't solve Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.  The Blue Jackets scored a pair of first period goals and it was enough for a 3-1 victory.

The Sabres got a power play goal from Evan Rodrigues in the second period to cut the Columbus lead in half 2-1, but that's as close as the Sabres would come.  The Sabres pulled goaltender Anders Nilsson with 1:30 to play for an extra attacker and came close, but Columbus was able to clinch it into an empty net.

The Sabres outshot Columbus 42-29 and generated some great chances and except for the one goal Bobrovsky was solid.

At the other end of the ice, Nilsson played well enough to win, but a couple of defensive giveaways in their own zone were costly.  Nilsson ended up stopping 26 of 28 shots.

The Sabres were without Kyle Okposo who was ill and was replaced in the lineup by Nick Deslauriers.  Sam Reinhart was dressed, but didn't play a single shift.  Coach Dan Balsyma said after the game that Reinhart had violated a team policy so was benched for the entire game.

The Sabres have just five games left in the season.  They're off until Sunday afternoon when they host the Islanders in a 3:00 start.