The Sabres let David Krejci stand in front of the net and get three shots on goal before anyone moved. Chad Johnson looked like a backup on one goal. The powerplay didn't get any serious opportunities.
But all that was erased in the third period.
The Sabres scored three goals in a four minute span to take a 4-3 lead, and sealed the deal late with two empty netters to defeat Boston 6-3.
Ryan O'Reilly led the comeback effort, scoring off a nice play from Mike Weber (that's not something you type every day). Weber shot the puck off the endboards, and it bounced right to an open O'Reilly on the other side.
ROR goal pic.twitter.com/xwBzOwsNhd— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 27, 2015
Jack Eichel scored in front of many friends and family members in the arena he won the Beanpot a year ago. He saw the traffic in front, and deflected a shot off the Bruins defender for his tenth of the year.
Sabres tie the game 3-3 pic.twitter.com/jh2SS4qZg8— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 27, 2015
O'Reilly continued his good night on the game-winning goal, doing well to get to Zach Bogosian's dump-in. He worked to get good positioning behind the net, and found Jamie McGinn in front. McGinn continued his hot stretch, getting elevation on his shot to put the puck over Jonasd Gustavsson's shoulder.
McGinn gives the Sabres a 4-3 lead pic.twitter.com/PPGTZWC5Om— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 27, 2015
As the season goes along, it becomes more and more baffling that Colorado decided to move him at 24-years-old. He's like a painting that you pay a decent price for, and every day get to look at and just marvel at how anyone would let it slip out of their hands. Expect O'Reilly may be more beautiful than any painting.
Eichel and O'Reilly sealed the deal for the Sabres with two empty-netters, giving the Sabres the most goals in a game this season.
Evander Kane scored the first goal of the night, his eighth of the year, off a big rebound from Gustavsson. Dan Bylsma kept the Kane-Eichel-Ennis line on the ice for the following shift, which proved to be a mistake. The Bruins pinned Buffalo in its zone, and Matt Beleskey scored 40 seconds later. Patrice Bergeron scored again for Boston 16 seconds after that, and suddenly the Bruins were in control.
Things seemed grim for the Sabres when Krejci scored seven minutes into the third. The Buffalo defensemen were nowhere to be found for any of Krejci's three shots on Johnson. After two saves the puck flew into the air, and Krejci showed off some hand-eye coordination by hitting the puck into the net.
Yet, the Sabres were able to comeback, giving Boston a taste of what the Sabres could look like for years to come. Tonight's game has to be in the top-five most entertaining games to watch this season. More of this please, Sabres.
1. Can Eichel score in his hometown?
Eichel looked like the young star that he is tonight, scoring two goals and two assists (one goal and one assist came on the empty-netters) in his first NHL game in his hometown. If he keeps this up he might lose a few fans in Boston.
The goal was only his second of the month. He's the second Sabre to get to double digit goals, trailing only O'Reilly.
2. Will the Sabres show any rust?
The Sabres came out strong to start the game, but momentum began moving Boston's way midway through the first period. The jump in the Sabres step returned in the third period after O'Reilly and Eichel scored to tie the game at three. Whether that's getting back into a rhythm or simply riding emotions, that's unclear.
3. How will Tyler Ennis play?
Ennis had one assist, and his line with Eichel and Kane looked very solid offensively from the start, pinning the Bruins in the defensive end on multiple occasions. However, the line was on the ice for two of Boston's three goals tonight.