Pickard, Tanguay lead Avs past Sabres

Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Rookie Calvin Pickard made 28 saves to backstop the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

Erik Johnson and Cody McLeod scored in the first period for the Avalanche, who have earned at least a point in four straight games (2-0-2). In the third period, Alex Tanguay scored twice and set up John Mitchell for a power-play goal.

"With every opportunity I'm given, I just want to give the team a chance to win," said Pickard.

Jhonas Enroth stopped 18-of-22 shots for Buffalo, which has been outscored 10-2 while dropping its last two on the heels of a four-game winning streak.

Johnson joined the rush, gathered a feed from Nathan MacKinnon and fired the puck past Enroth's right pad 2:23 into the game.

McLeod tapped in Ryan O'Reilly's pass through the legs of Enroth for a short- handed goal at the 7:07 mark of the first.

Tanguay took a feed from Jarome Iginla and beat Enroth high on the glove side with a wrist shot at 1:51. He then dished to Mitchell, who buried a shot from the slot at 5:09.

Mitchell was back in the lineup after missing seven games with a leg injury.

Johan Larsson spoiled Pickard's shutout bid with his first NHL goal at 13:27. Larsson was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League to replace Matt Moulson, who was a late scratch because of an illness.

"Called (Larsson) up at 10 to five. So he had to rush here. Under those circumstances, he played well, plus he scored his first (NHL) goal," said Sabres coach Ted Nolan.

Tanguay scored into an empty net with 26 seconds remaining.

Game Notes

The Avalanche have won eight straight meetings with the Sabres ... Iginla collected three assists ... Buffalo forward Tyler Ennis played in his 300th career game ... Avalanche forward Patrick Bordeleau made his season debut after recovering from a back injury ... Colorado forward Maxime Talbot picked up his 100th career assist ... The Avalanche wrap up their three-game road trip Sunday in Detroit.