The Sabres came back for a big win over Vegas

Jack Eichel stole the show with his go-ahead third period goal

Paul Hamilton
January 15, 2020 - 12:23 am
Sabres-Golden Knights

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - For the second straight game, the Sabres played very well in the first and third periods, but very poorly in the second. In both cases, the blue and gold came away with wins, giving them four victories in six games.

It took a Jack Eichel highlight reel goal in the third period to put the game away. Eichel has points in eight straight games and 26 out of his last 28 games. The goal was Eichel’s 28th, which ties his career high just 46 games into the season.

On his sixth game-winning goal of the season, Eichel accelerated like few others can. He made Fleury think he was passing to Zemgus Girgensons cross-crease and Fleury cheated that way, giving Eichel quite a bit of net the score in.

Linus Ullmark picked up his 15th win, tying his career-high. Ullmark made 24 saves for the win, but he had some big stops in the second period when the Sabres had lost their game. 

The biggest save came on Paul Stastny off a 2-on-1 that looked to be a layup. The play developed because of an Eichel turnover, and the captain came over to thank him after the save.

In the last two wins over Vegas and Detroit, Ullmark has been coming up with the big save at the big time. That’s something that’s been missing from many of his games lately.

The bad second period didn’t set well in the locker room. Ralph Krueger said, “After the second, we were stern and we were angry.”

Sam Reinhart is continuing to celebrate 2020. In this calendar year, he’s played six games, scoring four goals and four assists for eight points.

The power play has really taken off the last five games, going 6-for-14. That’s 42.9%. On the first goal with the extra man, it was thanks to some excellent hustle by Conor Sheary. The winger got out to the blue line and stole the puck from William Karlsson and got it to Reinhart. Reinhart found Kyle Okposo, who set the defenseman up for a screen and whipped it home.

Reinhart added a power play goal when Rasmus Ristolainen found him in front from behind the net. Reinhart said Ristolainen being down low has allowed him to cruise all over the offensive zone with the extra man. 

Buffalo was all over the Golden Knights in the first period, but missed the chance to put them behind. Rasmus Dahlin was an absolute force, putting two great moves on before being stopped by Marc-Andre Fleury. He also saw a wide-open Jimmy Vesey cutting through the slot for another chance, but Vesey’s tip at the open net missed.

Colin Miller had a layup against his old team as he joined the rush, but the puck may have been bouncing on the way to him and he missed the net.

Miller disagreed with a tripping penalty called on him early in the third period with Buffalo ahead 2-1. He then got an undisciplined unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and Vegas tied the game seven seconds later.  

Buffalo is still quite a distance out of a playoff berth, but at least they're starting to play some better hockey.

The Sabres have two more games before they get a week off. The first game is in Dallas on Thursday, while the second one is in Nashville on Saturday.

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