Sabres fight until the end, fall 3-2 to Islanders in overtime

Jack Eichel's point streak reaches 16 games, while his late tying goal forces overtime

Kyle Powell
December 14, 2019 - 9:55 am

Photo: Andy Marlin - USA TODAY Sports


A hard-fought game didn't go the Buffalo Sabres' way, but they were able to salvage a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.

In defeat, Jack Eichel's point streak reached 16 games, and his late third period heroics helped force the extra frame.

The Islanders got on the scoreboard first with 5:11 gone in the first period as they put together an extended offensive zone possession and made the most of the opportunity. 

Instead of covering a loose puck in the crease, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark tried to play the puck to a defenseman in hopes of escaping the attack. Instead, the puck was turned over to Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier, who then fed teammate Michael Dal Colle for a one-time shot that beat Ullmark. The goal was Dal Colle's second of the season.

With about 90 seconds left in the opening period, Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella delivered a clean hit on Islanders forward Ross Johnston, who was shaken up after the collision. Islanders forward Josh Bailey came to Johnston's defense, and received a double-minor penalty for roughing in the process.

That helped change the tide of the game, but the Sabres failed to convert on the man advantage, that extended into the start of the second period.

The Sabres finally got on the board in the second period as the team found themselves on another power play with Islanders forward Brock Nelson in the box for holding the stick. Nearing the end of the power play, Sabres winger Victor Olofsson wired a one-time slap shot past goalie Semyon Varlamov to even the score at 1-1. The goal was Olofsson's 14th of the season, eighth on the man advantage, and also helped Eichel extend his NHL-best active point streak to 16 games. The Buffalo captain received the secondary assist on the tying tally.

Eichel now owns the longest streak of consecutive games with a point in the NHL this season. His assist helped him pass Buffalo native, and current Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, who put together a 15-game streak earlier this fall.

The 23-year-old also moved himself up the leaderboard for the longest point streak by a U.S.-born player, trailing only Kane, who put up a 20-game point streak in the 2018-19 season, as well as a 26-game point streak in the 2015-16 season. Eichel is also tied with former Sabres forward Tim Connolly, who registered a 16-game point streak during his 2009-10 season.

In addition, Eichel is now just two games away from tying the Sabres' franchice record for the longest point streak set by Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault in the 1971-72 season.

Olofsson's goal also ended the Sabres' goalless drought against the Islanders at 92:43. Before the goal, Buffalo's last tally against the Islanders came back on March 30, 2019 when Olofsson scored his first NHL goal in the third period of a 5-1 loss on the road.

The Sabres got themselves into penalty trouble after tying the game with a string of three consecutive minors to put Buffalo's penalty killing units to work for the majority of the second. However, they were able to weather the storm and go 3-for-3 against the Islanders' power play.

The Sabres' special teams efforts helped keep the game tied at 1-1 through 40 minutes of play.

New York seized their lead back with just 4:50 gone in the third period when Islanders forward Jordan Eberle found a way to get his shot from the slot through some net-front traffic and past Ullmark. This came after Scandella attempted to clear the puck out of danger, but his Nelson in the corner.

With the Islanders attempting to hold on to the lead late in the third period, forward Mathew Barzal took a roughing penalty with 3:33 remaining in regulation to give Buffalo another power play chance.

With less then two minutes remaining and Ulmmark pulled to make it a 6-on-4 advantage for the Sabres, Eichel was able to collect a puck to the right of the net with bodies all around Varlamov and backhand the game-tying goal over the Islanders netminder. Eichel's 23rd goal of the season tied the game with 1:46 remaining and eventually force overtime.

The extra period would only last 3:04 as Beauvillier was able to collect an Eichel turnover near the Islanders blue line and go in on a breakaway. Beauvillier's forehand shot beat Ullmark and dropped the curtain on Buffalo's attempt at two points.




Goal Summary:

First Period:

NYI: 5:11 - Michael Dal Colle (2) (Anthony Beauvillier)

Second Period:

BUF: 6:11 - Victor Olofsson (14) PPG (Rasmus Dahlin, Jack Eichel)

Third Period:

BUF: 18:14 - Jack Eichel (23) PPG (Rasmus Ristolainen)
NYI: 4:50 - Jordan Eberle (3) (Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier)


NYI: 3:04 - Anthony Beauvillier (10) (Brock Nelson)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 18:22 - Marco Scandella (Roughing - 2 min.)
NYI: 18:22 - Josh Bailey (Roughing - 4 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 8:04 - Rasmus Ristolainen (Holding - 2 min.); 10:53 - Evan Rodrigues (Hooking - 2 min.); 14:17 - Marcus Johansson (Interference - 2 min.)
NYI: 4:37 - Brock Nelson (Holding the stick - 2 min.)

Third Period:

NYI: 16:27 - Mathew Barzal (Elbowing - 2 min.)




Shots on Goal:

BUF: 35 (10, 10, 13, 2)
NYI: 26 (9, 7, 8, 2)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 23 saves
NYI: Semyon Varlamov - 33 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 2 for 3 (67%)
NYI: 0 for 3 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Anthony Beauvillier - NYI
  2. Jordan Eberle - NYI
  3. Jack Eichel - BUF

What's Next:

Buffalo's road trip continues Tuesday night when the Sabres visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog starting at 6 p.m. on WGR.

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