Sabres vs. Canucks recap: Ristolainen scores game-winner in final 20 seconds

The Sabres top defenseman scored twice off lasers from the point, leading Buffalo to victory over its empansion brothers.

Rasmus Ristolainen was the man of the afternoon, scoring two goals, including the game winner, in the Sabres' 3-2 victory against Vancouver. His game-winner was scored with only 16 seconds left in the third period, a wonderful shot that snuck into the left side of the net. This is the first two-goal game of his young career.

The final goal was created by the brilliant play of Tyler Ennis, who deked his way past multiple Canucks to enter the offensive zone. He eventually got the puck to Marcus Foligno, who was positioned right next to Ryan Miller. Foligno swung the puck back to the point to Ristolainen, who used his screens and get enough air on the puck to beat Miller.

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Despite a slow start in the first period, Buffalo had a two goal lead midway through the game thanks to goals from Jamie McGinn and Ristolainen. The Canucks fought back, getting goals from Henrik Sedin and Chris Higgins to tie the game back up at two. Buffalo struggled in the defensive end, something that isn't unusual this season.

Just as it appeared the game would call for overtime, Ristolainen sent the Sabres fans home early with his third goal of the season. Not only has he been the best blueliner in the defensive end, but he now leads Sabres defensemen in goals as well. It's amazing that he's only 21-years-old.

Linus Ullmark had another solid outing in net, keeping the Sabres in the game even when they were being vastly outchanced. The victory pushes his record to 3-2-0 in the NHL as he continues to secure the starting job until Robin Lehner's return.

Today was another game where you can see what this team is going to become. Ristolainen, Eichel, Ennis and Ryan O'Reilly all shined. The Sabres may not be Stanley Cup contenders, but they are fun.

Two Questions

1. How will Ryan Miller play in his return to Buffalo?

Miller wasn't tested very frequently this afternoon, only facing 22 shots on goal. In the first period, Buffalo only had four. The Sabres were able to get the puck past the former Sabres goalie three times, including twice from the point. He seemed to suffer a bit of discomfort late in the game when a teammate

2. What will Jack Eichel do today?

Eichel's chances at winning the Cy Young went down considerably today, as the young star finally notched his first assist of his career two minutes into the second period. Then six minutes later he got his second. He's now tied with Tyler Ennis for second on the team in points. He has scored five points in the last four Sabres home games, as he's seemed to play at his best at the FNC.