DENVER –Robin Lehner stopped nearly every shot the Avalanche threw at him. He couldn't stop the one that struck a teammate.
Francois Beauchemin's point shot bounced off Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk at the top of the crease and ricocheted into the net with 31.7 seconds to play Wednesday night. Lehner could only slam his goal stick to the ice as the Sabres suffered a 2-1 loss in Pepsi Center.
Lehner made 33 saves in his best performance with Buffalo, but he fell to 0-2.
Colorado has won 10 straight games in the series, the longest running streak of any Buffalo opponent. The Sabres' last win in the series was Dec. 4, 2005 -- when Ryan O'Reilly was just 14 years old.
Double ouch with Reinhart sidelined: Play stopped with 5:56 left in the second after injuries to the Sabres’ Sam Reinhart and referee Dave Jackson. Reinhart collided with Avs forward John Mitchell at center ice as the puck went into the Sabres’ zone. Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber tried to clear it off the boards, but he instead beaned Jackson.
Both men stayed on the ice, with Reinhart ultimately beating Jackson up and heading straight to the dressing room with a towel on his face. Jackson also left the game, leaving Jon McIsaac as the lone referee.
Jackson returned for the start of the third period, but Reinhart did not because of an upper-body injury.
"We’ll probably evaluate further when we get back to Buffalo what the length of it is," coach Dan Bylsma said.
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All together now: The Sabres opened the scoring with all five members of the power-play unit being part of the action. McGinn passed to Rasmus Ristolainen, who found O’Reilly, who slid it to Jack Eichel, who tipped it to Evander Kane. Kane fired the puck past goaltender Semyon Varlamov with 3:22 left in the second.
The Sabres have power-play goals in three straight games and seven of the last 10.
Avs rebound: Colorado finally found the net with 10:37 to play, tying the game at 1-1. Lehner went down to stop Carl Soderberg's streak down the slot, but the rebound went to Alex Tanguay. The veteran shot over a sprawling Lehner.
Turnaround: The Sabres held a 24-15 shot advantage through 40 minutes, boosted by a 14-6 second period. The Avs, though, took 18 of the 23 shots in the third to blow past Buffalo.
Scrambled goose egg: Buffalo’s penalty killers entered the night on a 15-for-16 run, but they still ranked 28th on the road. Colorado, meanwhile, had the No. 3 home power play. The Avs’ first power play reflected the numbers as they swarmed the Sabres’ net. Lehner turned aside chances by Blake Comeau and Matt Duchene, then watched the net-front scramble end without a goal when Nick Holden fired the puck over an empty net.
More PK success: For the second straight game, the Sabres killed off a four-minute penalty for high-sticking. Kane went to the box after cutting the Avs' Cody McLeod. The Sabres limited Colorado to four shots, and Lehner stopped them all to help Buffalo's penalty-kill unit improve its run to 18 for 19. But Tanguay scored 32 seconds later.
Busy man: Kane’s goal was one of his game-high seven shots attempts through the opening two periods.
Starting nods: Bylsma put former Avs Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn out for the opening faceoff despite the duo not playing together on the same line. Colorado coach Patrick Roy put ex-Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov in the starting five but not Mikhail Grigorenko.
Rude welcome, part one: Colorado forward Blake Comeau flattened McGinn with a hard check on the opening shift. Zadorov dropped Sabres center Johan Larsson just 20 seconds later.
Rude welcome, part two: The first time O’Reilly carried the puck for an extended time, with 7:50 left in the first period, the fans started booing. It continued every other time he touched the puck and was louder when an assist was announced on Kane’s goal.
Goalies shine in first: Lehner made nine saves and Varlamov had 10 during a scoreless first period. Both goaltenders shined brightest in the final minute. Wide-open Avs forward Jack Skille fired a slap shot from the slot that Lehner slid to block. Play quickly turned up ice with Kane on a rush, but Varlamov turned aside his release.
Setting up ROR: With the Sabres on the opening power play late in the first, center Jack Eichel spotted O’Reilly breaking free down the left side of the slot. O’Reilly’s shot failed to find the net.
Gorges returns: After missing two games with an upper-body injury, Josh Gorges returned to the Sabres’ blue line. He skated alongside Mark Pysyk as Zach Bogosian and Rasmus Ristolainen remained the top pair. Mike Weber skated with Cody Franson, while Jake McCabe and Carlo Colaiacovo were scratched.
Up next: The Sabres were scheduled to fly home following the game and take Thursday off. The Sabres will host the Detroit Red Wings on Friday in First Niagara Center. It’s back on the road for games against the New York Rangers on Monday and Ottawa on Tuesday, then the Sabres get a week off for the All-Star Break.