Sabres dominate Senators 5-2 on Fan Appreciation Night

Jack Eichel posts a three-point night; Jason Pominville climbs the all-time leaderboard

Kyle Powell
April 04, 2019 - 5:55 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Sabres took care of business in a major way on Thursday night as they crushed the Ottawa Senators 5-2 at KeyBank Center on Fan Appreciation Night.

The organization honored season ticket holders and other loyal fans ahead of opening faceoff, as well as in-season awards for the players during the game. On the ice, Jack Eichel and Jason Pominville stole the show as Eichel registered three points on the night, and Pominville moved up the all-time franchise leaderboard with an emotional goal in the third period.

The Senators grabbed the early edge after Anthony Duclair tipped a point shot from Cody Ceci for his 19th goal of the season. Later in the period, the Sabres responded on a power play to tie the score at 1-1. Victor Olofsson's second goal since his late-season call-up got the blue and gold on the board off a feed from Rasmus Dahlin with 8:40 gone in the period. That tied score would last all of 30-seconds as Jean-Gabriel Pageau cashed in on a loose puck against a confused Carter Hutton, who could not locate a rebound. Ottawa took their 2-1 lead heading into the locker room after the opening period of play.

Buffalo evened the score once again in the early goings of the second period with another power play goal. With Senators defenseman Dylan DeMelo in the box serving a hooking minor, Kyle Okposo scored his 14th goal of the season to make it a 2-2 game. Moments later, Jack Eichel put on a clinic in the offensive end. His efforts eventually led to the go-ahead goal scored by Sam Reinhart. The goal was Reinhart's 21st of the season as he deposited a feed out in front past Ottawa goaltender Joey Daccord, and Buffalo grabbed the 3-2 edge with 11:34 left in the second.

Despite some sloppier play and penalties taken by each team, neither team was able to find the back of the net ahead of the third period.

The third period was all Buffalo, with the Sabres scoring at the 11:06 mark to make it a 4-2 game. Eichel went to the net and scored his 28th goal of the year, and picked up his third point of the night. Paired with his 52 assists, the Sabres captain put the finishing touches on his first career 80-point season, and the first by a Sabre since Derek Roy and Pominville both scored 80-plus points in the 2007-08 season. Also on the play, Olofsson tallied an assist, giving him his first-career multi-point game of his NHL career.

Moments later on a broken play, Jason Pominville netted his 16th goal of the season while Daccord strayed from the Senators' net. Much has been made of Pominville's future with the team and in the league, so this was quite the moment for fans, teammates and coaches alike. The goal officially pushed Pominville ahead of Sabres' great Don Luce on the all-time franchise goal leaderboard with 217 goals Sabres uniform. Pominville now stands alone in 10th place on the all-time list. 

Buffalo continued their inspired play through the end of regulation, and put a bow on a 5-2 win over Ottawa to put an end to their eight-game losing skid.


Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 8:40 - Victor Olofsson (2) PPG (Rasmus Dahlin, Jack Eichel)
OTT: 2:03 - Anthony Duclair (19) (Cody Ceci, Rudolfs Balcers); 9:10 - Jean-Gabriel. Pageau (4) (Mikkel Boedker, Max Veronneau)

Second Period: 

BUF: 6:12 - Kyle Okposo (14) PPG (Conor Sheary, Rasmus Ristolainen); 8:26 - Sam Reinhart (21) (Jack Eichel)

Third Period: 

BUF: 11:06 - Jack Eichel (28) (Victor Olofsson, Sam Reinhart); 12:57 - Jason Pominville (16) (Unassisted)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 13:22 - Brandon Montour (High-sticking - 2 min.)
OTT: 8:02 - Rudolfs Balcers (Hooking - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 2:28 - Jeff Skinner (Cross checking - 2 min.); 11:50 - Jack Eichel (Interference - 2 min.) 15:55 - Sam Reinhart (Tripping - 2 min.)
OTT: 4:52 - Dylan DeMelo (Hooking - 2 min.); 15:35 - Thomas Chabot (Tripping - 2 min.)

Third Period: 


Shots on Goal:

BUF: 40 (12, 12, 16)
OTT: 23 (12, 5, 6)


BUF: Carter Hutton - 21 saves
OTT: Joey Daccord - 35 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 2 for 3 (66.6%)
OTT: 0 for 4 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Jack Eichel - BUF
  2. Victor Olofsson - BUF
  3. Jason Pominville - BUF

What's Next:

The Sabres' season comes to a close on Saturday, April 6 on the road against the Detroit Red Wings. Join Brian Koziol at 6 p.m. for the Paul William Beltz Pre-Game Show ahead of puck drop from Little Caesars Arena just after 7 p.m. on WGR.

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