Fun was had again tonight at KeyBank Center. What appeared to be a tough day for the Buffalo Sabres, turned into a crazy final end of the game.
The Sabres got off to a quick start in this one and jumped on the Canucks early. They were aggressive on the puck in the neutral zone and had a few scoring chances early on Jacob Markstrom.
They broke through for the only goal in the period when Kyle Okposo made a beautiful pass to Nathan Beaulieu who was alone at the back door for a tap in.
Beaulieu goal off assist from Okposo— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) November 10, 2018
1-0 Buffalo pic.twitter.com/hSijDX3f4L
Then, after about the 10 minute mark of the period things changed. Both Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart went to the room with injuries. From that point on the Canucks brought the pressure and if it wasn’t for Carter Hutton the Sabres would tied or down after 20 minutes.
Not sure what happened but here's Eichel's last shift pic.twitter.com/2XPpbcEXNq— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) November 10, 2018
The good news for the middle frame both Eichel and Reinhart returned to the game. Allowing fans to breathe a little.
That’s where the good news ended.
The majority of the period was played in the Sabres end of the ice and if it wasn’t for a few more great saves from Hutton, including a ridiculous glove save the score could be much worse.
At the end of the period the Canucks did break through. Loui Eriksson was left alone in front and put one by Hutton. Less than a minute later, Tage Thompson turned the puck over on a toe-drag that didn’t work (shocker). Jake Virtanen came down the wing with speed and put a soft backhand goal past Hutton, one the Sabres goaltender would certainly like back.
After 40 minutes the Canucks held a 2-1 lead.
The third period started out rough for the Sabres. Erik Gudbranson’s point shot gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead early in the third period.
Buffalo continued to push to get back in the game, but were held off the board by Markstrom. Including, a huge save on Jeff Skinner when he looked to have an easy lay up.
Then it happened.
With 2:27 left and the goaltender pulled Skinner got the Sabres back in the game with a nice goal off a pass from Sam Reinhart. Then around 30 seconds later thank you to a really poorly placed rebound by Markstrom; Reinhart came flying off the bench and hammered the equalizer into the back of the net.
The Sabres survived two 4 on 3 power plays in overtime to get into their first shootout of the season.
Eichel and Mittelstadt scored, while Hutton stopped two of the three Canucks shooters to give the Sabres a big comeback win to the delight of the home crowd.
Hockey is fun again in Buffalo.
The Tampa Bay Lightning roll through on Tuesday night.
Eichel - Goal
Pettersson - Stopped
Reinhart - Stopped
Granlund - Goal
Mittelstadt - Goal
Goldobin - Stopped
Final: Sabres 4, Canucks 3 (SO)
Shots on goal: Canucks 39 | Sabres 37
Sabres goals: Nathan Beaulieu (2), Skinner (12), and Reinhart (2)
Canucks goals: Loui Eriksson (4), Virtanen (7), and Gudbranson (2)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Sam Reinhart (1 G, 1 A)
2. Carter Hutton (36 saves on 39 shots)
3. Jake Virtanen (1 G)