Czech Republic natives, J.T. Compher, lead the Avalanche to 3-2 win over Buffalo Sabres – The Denver Post


Czech, please.

Czech Republic natives Martin Kaut and Pavel Francouz had another memorable night Wednesday in the Avalanche’s 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at the Pepsi Center.

Kaut, a 20-year-old rookie forward, scored his first career goal, and Francouz, a goalie in his first full NHL season, closed the door with 13 third-period saves.

“Just my dream when I was a kid — I finally scored my first NHL goal,” Kaut said.

Kaut and Francouz also starred in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Anaheim, where Kaut had the game-winning assist and Francouz his first career shutout.

“I think he’s shown that he can play at this level,” Francouz, 29, said of the young Kaut. “He’s really working hard, so I’m really (excited) to see how good he can be.”

Center J.T. Compher also starred in Colorado fourth straight win. He had two points, including the game-winning goal 11:54 into the third period off the hard work of linemates Joonas Donskoi and Tyson Jost. Donskoi had the game-winning assist on a pass from behind goalie Carter Hutton’s cage.

“Our line was getting after it, causing turnovers,” Compher said. “Josty and Donny did a great job on the wall, and great pass by Donny to me.”

Compher assisted on Gabe Landeskog’s power-play goal in the first period. Colorado finished 2-for-2 on the man-advantage after failing to score on 15-of-16 chances in the previous five games.

“It was the difference in the game,” Compher said of the Avs’ success on the power play. “We know that it’s time to step up. Me and Josty are filling in for guys who are (injured), but when we get that opportunity, we have to try to take advantage, and we did a great job tonight.”

The Avalanche (37-18-7, 81 points) leapfrogged Dallas for second place in the Central Division and the Western Conference, with two games in hand over division/conference-leading St. Louis (37-17-10, 84 points).

Box score

It was a 1-1 game after the first period and 2-2 after the second, when both teams had 20 shots. The Avs appeared to take a 3-2 lead early in the third period, but referees ruled that Jost, who hadn’t scored in his previous 35 consecutive games, redirected the shot into the net with his stick above the crossbar.

“Just kind of my luck right now,” Jost said.

The injury-depleted Avs continued to play without four key forwards in Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky and Matt Calvert. Rantanen (shoulder area) missed his fourth straight game, Kadri (leg) his eighth, Burakovsky (upper body) his second and Calvert (lower body) his fifth. Goalie Philipp Gruabuer (lower body) missed his fifth game and is out indefinitely.