Shots on Goal: Sabres 32 | Senators 23
Sabres Goal Scorers: Jack Eichel (9, 10, 11, 12)
Senators Goal Scorers: Anthony Duclair (7), Tyler Ennis (5)
Plus 1: Eich Eich Baby
The first period was one that Buffalo dominated with more than double the shots on goal as Ottawa. However, they were unable to bury the puck - even with two power plays. Early in the second period, though, Sam Reinhart found Jack Eichel in the neutral zone and the Sabres captain carried it neatly to the Senators’ zone with a beautiful top shelf goal. Following consecutive Ottawa power plays (during which one produced a goal), it was captain Jack who again answered back at even strength with another top shelf “wrister” on goaltender Craig Anderson’s glove side. The scoreboard read 2-1 in favor of the Sabres after two periods.
Not to be forgotten in the third period, Eichel managed to tally his second career hat trick and first since 2017. He then proceeded to bury an empty net goal in the final seconds of play simply because his could.
In total, Eichel has seven multi-point games against the Senators alone as well as seven multi-point games so far this season. In his career, he has 20 points in 14 games against Ottawa. He is the first four-goal scorer on the team since Thomas Vanek in 2010.
Plus 2: Goalofsson thrives even when he doesn’t score
Victor Olofsson also shined during this game of back and forth scoring. It should be noted that he is currently on a four-game point streak and contributed one assist tonight. For those who think he only produces on the power play: his point tonight was at even strength and he created many scoring opportunities throughout the night on just that.
Plus 3: Welcome, Rasmus Asplund
Forward Rasmus Asplund made the trip from Rochester to play in his first NHL game tonight. He made an impact early on in the first period with a big hit on Sens’ defenseman and fellow Swede Erik Brannstrom. On the penalty kill early in the second period, Asplund came very close to scoring short handed when he broke away at center ice and almost beat Anderson. Without a doubt, the 21-year-old earned his spot on the roster tonight and might have Ralph Krueger looking at him to travel with the team to Chicago tomorrow night.
Minus 1: Where’s the depth?
Former Sabre Tyler Ennis - not a superstar as many of you know - scored his fifth goal of the season tonight for the Senators. Fans can probably guess who he is outplaying on the Sabres: Jimmy Vesey, Kyle Okposo (who left the third period with an injury after running into an Ottawa player off of the bench), Zemgus Girgensons, Conor Sheary, and Evan Rodrigues. Of the aforementioned players, the big goose eggs belong to Vesey and Ridrigues. All of these players are on either the second, third, or fourth line. Can you say deja vu?
Minus 2: Dahlin takes a seat
Following the Ennis goal that tied up the game in the third period, there was a Sabres player noticeably missing from the ice: Rasmus Dahlin. While many fans may be up in arms over Krueger’s decision to bench Dahlin for the remainder of the game, it may have been the right decision to wake him up. He has made many careless mistakes - including countless turnovers and careless penalties - since the start of the season. Hopefully he can turn things around and not perpetuate the “sophomore slump” narrative.
Up next: Buffalo will travel to Chicago to face the Blackhawks on Sunday night at 7 P.M.