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Recap: Eichel’s two goals lift Sabres to 5-4 OT victory

The third straight overtime win for the Sabres come courtesy of another Eichel beauty.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The whole point of getting a superstar player is that they can sometimes put a team on their backs and lead them to victory. For Jack Eichel, tonight wasn’t his best game ever, but for the final ten minutes and in overtime, he was the best player on the ice and willed the Sabres to a 5-4, come-from-behind overtime win.

Eichel scored the game winner in overtime, and boy was it fantastic. After a few missed chances, the second-year center took the puck coast-to-coast, cut in to the middle amidst three defenders, and roofed a quick wrister home to send the Sabres home with their third straight overtime win, the first time the franchise has done that since the 2006 season.

The night started slowly for the Sabres, who gave up the opening goal about eight minutes in to Filip Forsberg and getting outshot in the period 16-10.

They would come back with a stronger second, at least on the scoreboard, scoring twice off of rebounds thanks to Girgensons and Eichel. The Sabres played a very hoy and cold period, with Twitter rants being immediately followed by slick goals and vice versa. Eichel’s goal with 17 seconds left came after a fluky, short-side goal by Cody McLeod of Nashville, and helped to salvage a back and forth effort.

The third period would be a combination of questionable refereeing and bad breaks against the Sabres, and then an amazing ending. It started with another bad short side goal given up by Lehner (really, Robin?) and then a few iffy no-calls that finished with Girgensons getting brought down from behind led to an odd-man rush for Nashville, and James Neal found himself all alone in front and he did not miss, scoring the Preds’ fourth of the night.

Things seemed dire in the final ten minutes until Brian Gionta slammed home his 11th of the year left all along in front to cut the lead to one. And with just over a minute left and the Sabres buzzing, Kyle Okposo scored his 15th of the year to tie the game and send it to overtime, and the rest is history.

This game showed yet again that the Sabres are developing a never-say-die mentality similar to what we saw from them in their best recent years. I’m not saying their as good as those teams, but it’s nice to finally see this team start to come together with three straight OT wins.

Two Questions

1. How will Kulikov look in his return?

Kulikov played an impressive 24:11 in his return with four hits and seven blocked shots - you certainly can’t say the man was afraid to use his body tonight.

2. Can we maybe not do the overtime thing again tonight?


Comment of the Game

Jack Eichel, really good at hockey.

Posted by twoeightnine