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The Buffalo Sabres kicked off the eight-team NHL Prospect Tournament with a 3-2 triumph against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday in Traverse City, Mich.

The Sabres jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first five minutes of the contest on goals by Nicholas Baptiste and Justin Bailey. Buffalo went up 3-1 in the second period on a power-play goal by defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, the team’s 2013 first-round pick.

Columbus trimmed the lead to 3-2 on a short-handed goal but the Sabres’ defense tightened and the teams played a scoreless third period.

“There’s not a lot of prep work prior to the tournament and you just have to put on your gear and play,” Rochester Americans coach Chadd Cassidy said. “It was good to get off to a quick start.”

The Sabres play the New York Rangers’ prospects Friday at 4 p.m. (Radio 1520 AM).