Sabres clinch overtime win
Jack Eichel was the star for the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday with two goals and two assists, including the game-winning score in overtime, as the Sabres beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 at KeyBank Center.
Erik Karlsson had levelled the game at 3-3 at 11:27 in the third period, but Eichel was on hand to fire home from a rebound after 3:13 of overtime to secure the win.
Eichel also secured a personal landmark – he has now scored six goals in overtime in his career, bringing him level with Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek in the Sabres record books.
Sam Reinhart and Jeff Skinner also scored for the Sabres, who went into the game as the favourites with sports betting companies, while Rasmus Ristolainen contributed two assists and Carter Hutton finished the game with 25 saves to help Buffalo win their second game in a row against the Sharks.
For the Sharks, goaltender Martin Jones made 25 saves, while Dylan Gambrell and Marc-Édouard Vlasic scored, but despite playing well for long periods, it was ultimately a disappointing result for the Sharks.
Karlsson spoke to the media after the game, saying that they are playing okay but still not winning, and they have to find ways to do that.
Gambrell had given San Jose the lead with the first NHL regulation goal of his career at 5:46 in the first period, redirecting a shot by Karlsson that had come off the stick of Sabres forward Victor Olofsson to end Hutton’s career-long shutout streak.
The visitors increased their lead on 15:23 through Vlasic, who fired into an open net after collecting a backhand pass by Patrick Marleau, at the same time bringing up his 68th NHL goal, and he is now level with Dan Boyle in second place in the list of the Sharks’ goal-scoring defencemen.
Eichel pulled a goal back for the Sabres on 7:21 in the second through a one-timer, and then Reinhart levelled, redirecting Ristolainen’s shot from the right with 31 seconds remaining in the second period.
The Sabres went ahead 45 seconds into the third period when Eichel won the puck and set up Skinner to score his sixth of the season, and Eichel was then on hand to seal the game in overtime.
Words: Stijn Janssen