Sabres win overtime thriller on 2000s Night, 4-3 over Columbus

Victor Olofsson makes an immediate impact with two goals, including the game-winner, in his return from injury

Kyle Powell
February 13, 2020 - 7:24 pm
Victor Olofsson

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

A back-and-forth affair on 2000s Night saw the Buffalo Sabres emerge victorious in overtime, 4-3 over the Columbus Blue Jackets at KeyBank Center.

It was the blue and gold's second overtime win over Columbus this month.

The teams played a fairly even, penalty-free first period and were on the verge of heading to intermission scoreless before the Blue Jackets struck late in the opening frame. 

Former Buffalo Sabres forward Nathan Gerbe got the scoring started with just 28 seconds left on the clock as he cashed in as the trailing skater on a 2-on-1 rush between Vladislav Gavrikov and Riley Nash. Gavrikov dished the puck back to Gerbe after Carter Hutton seemed to get his skate caught in a rut on the ice as he fell backwards in his crease as the play closed in on him.

Columbus added to their lead just 1:31 into the second period when defenseman Zach Werenski let loose a point shot towards Hutton and it was re-directed by forward Boone Jenner. Jenner's deflection beat the Buffalo netminder clean, and made it a 2-0 lead for the Blue Jackets.

The Sabres finally got on the board with 1:13 left in the second when Jack Eichel picked up a puck off the side wall in the Buffalo end and turned on the jets through the neutral zone and into the Columbus end. Eichel made his way to the left-wing side of the ice, before cutting back towards the middle and roofing a wrist shot past the glove side of goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks to cut the Sabres' deficit, 2-1.

The goal was the captain's 32nd tally of the season.

Buffalo found the equalizer just 2:10 into the third period when Columbus captain Nick Foligno found himself in the box to give the Sabres their first power play chance of the game. Eichel found Victor Olofsson nestled in his right-wing office on the man advantage, and the winger wired a one-timer past Kivlenieks for his 17th goal of his rookie season, 10th goal on the power play, and his first goal since missing 15 games with a lower-body injury.

The scoring kept on coming for the Sabres later in the period, who took their first lead of the night thanks to Evan Rodrigues with just under 4:30 to play. The forward took a pass from Jeff Skinner up through the neutral zone and into the Blue Jackets end before showing off a nifty move to create space on the Columbus defense. Rodrigues curled and dragged the puck towards the middle of the ice before beating Kivlenieks with a wrist shot to give Buffalo a 3-2 advantage.

For Skinner, the primary assist on the go-ahead goal was his first point since Dec. 21 against the Los Angeles Kings. However, his goal scoring drought ended up reaching 20 games by the end of the night.

Unfortunately, the hard-earned lead did not last too long for the Sabres. With Kivlenieks pulled late in the game for an extra attacker, forward Markus Nutivaara tied the score with just 73 seconds remaining in regulation as he got in behind the Buffalo defense and tapped in a feed from forward Oliver Bjorkstrand to make it a 3-3 game.

There were breakaways and chances aplenty inside the five-minute extra frame, but both goaltenders stood tall through most of it.

The Sabres finally claimed victory with 2:16 remaining on the clock as Eichel made his way into the Blue Jackets zone with Olofsson trailing on the play. As the captain dragged the defenders in deep with him, he dished the puck back to the rookie forward, who scored the game-winning goal. The goal was Olofsson's 18th of the 2019-20 campaign and second of the night.




Goal Summary:

First Period:

CBJ: 19:32 - Nathan Gerbe (4) (Vladislav Gavrikov, Riley Nash)

Second Period:

BUF: 18:47 - Jack Eichel (32) (Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen)
CBJ: 1:31 - Boone Jenner (10) (Zach Werenski, Liam Foudy)

Third Period:

BUF: 2:10 - Victor Olofsson (17) PPG (Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin); 15:34 - Evan Rodrigues (5) (Jeff Skinner, Carter Hutton)
CBJ: 18:47 - Markus Nutivaara (3) (Oliver Bjorkstrand, Nick Foligno)


BUF: 2:44 - Victor Olofsson (18) (Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:


Second Period:


Third Period:

BUF: 4:55 - Jake McCabe (Cross-Checking - 2 min.; served by Kyle Okposo); 4:55 - Jake McCabe (Cross-Checking - 2 min.)
CBJ: 1:00 - Nick Foligno (Tripping - 2 min.); 4:55 - Eric Robinson (Goaltender Interference - 2 min.)




Strategic Financial Solutions Complete Stats Of The Game

Strategic Financial Solutions Stats of the Game:

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 27 (8, 7, 9, 3)
CBJ: 31 (10, 11, 8, 2)


BUF: Carter Hutton - 28 saves
CBJ: Matiss Kivlenieks - 23 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 1 (100%)
CBJ: 0 for 1 (0%)

Three Stars presented by Losi and Gangi:

  1. Victor Olofsson - BUF
  2. Jack Eichel - BUF
  3. Markus Nutivaara - CBJ

What's Next:

Buffalo's four-game homestand comes to a close on Sunday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to KeyBank Center. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show with Brian Koziol starting at 6 p.m. on WGR.

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