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game recap

Jack Eichel, Sabres end four-game losing streak

Center has goal, two assists against Coyotes to extend point streak to eight

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly each had a goal and two assists to help the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-3 win against the Arizona Coyotes at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

Eichel extended his point streak to eight games (two goals, nine assists). The Sabres (27-26-11) ended a four-game losing streak. The Coyotes (22-34-7) have lost two straight and four of their past five games.

Evander Kane gave the Sabres a 4-3 lead at 14:24 of the third period. Kane's 23rd goal came after he took a one-timer that beat Mike Smith after a backhand pass from O'Reilly.


WATCH: All Senators vs. Sabres highlights


"We allowed them to get back in the game," Eichel said. "But a great play by [O'Reilly] to [Kane] for a goal and we were able to hold on. So we'll take the two points, but we shouldn't be satisfied with the way we played."

Marcus Foligno had a shorthanded goal in the first period and scored into an empty net with 1:43 remaining to make it 5-3.

"[O'Reilly's] such a smart player with his stick and I just knew there was a chance of him getting the puck and squeaking out with it and I was able just to get to the slot and from there it was easy," Foligno said.

Video: ARI@BUF: Eichel finishes Reinhart's nice dish for PPG

Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski tied it 3-3 at 8:20 of the third period. Goligoski took a shot from inside the blue line that got through a crowd in front of the net and past Robin Lehner for his third goal.

Eichel gave the Sabres a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal 11:08 into the second period. Eichel received a backhand pass from Sam Reinhart and took a shot from the circle that beat Smith for his 15th goal. Reinhart also had an empty-net goal with four seconds left in the third.

O'Reilly and Coyotes forward Tobias Rieder scored 1:08 apart early in the second. O'Reilly gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead 57 seconds into the period but Rieder made it 2-2 with a shorthanded goal at 2:05.

Teemu Pulkkinen gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead at 7:54 of the first period.


Goal of the game

Eichel passed to O'Reilly for a one-timer that got past Smith for his 14th goal of the season.

Video: ARI@BUF: O'Reilly buries Eichel's dish for PPG


Save of the game

Smith made a lunging glove save on Kane at 4:08 of the third period with the Coyotes down 3-2.

Video: ARI@BUF: Smith stretches out to stuff Kane's chance


Highlight of the game

Kane's go-ahead goal came on a hard shot after a spinning backhand pass from O'Reilly.

Video: ARI@BUF: Kane rifles go-ahead one-timer past Smith


Unsung performance of the game

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen had an assist and was plus-2 with six shots on goal and two blocked shots in 24:39 of ice time.


They said it

"There was no part of that game that was near good enough. Our special teams were terrible. 5-on-5 we were bad. [Smith] held us in it. Even when we tied the game up, our game's for a little while here, there's too much indecision and it makes us slow and that leads to turnovers and you play in your own end a lot." -- Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski


"We weren't very good the first couple of periods; weren't very good at all. Had a little push in the third where we were a little better, but just not enough execution through our group and not enough will to win. [Smith] held us in there for a while but in the end you get what you usually deserve." -- Coyotes coach Dave Tippett


"We have to realize that moving forward into the next game to not be too high about this win and realize that if you're up by a goal or two goals that we've got to go into a third period thinking we're down or we're even and push for the next goal. You don't need it to win a hockey game, but if you score another goal and you score another one it puts that team out of it mentally. They don't think they can come back and that's what you've got to do; you've got to take teams out of the game mentally." -- Sabres left wing Evander Kane


Need to know

Sabres forward Kyle Okposo left the game after injuring his rib when he was checked along the boards in the second period and did not return. Coach Dan Bylsma said Okposo had X-rays but there was no further update. The Sabres are 11-2-1 in their past 14 games against the Coyotes… Buffalo was 2-for-4 on the power play and is tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning for second in the NHL on the man-advantage at 22.8 percent. … Pulkkinen made his Coyotes debut after being acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 27.


What's next

Coyotes: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-SE, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, SUN, NHL.TV)


Video: Eichel, O'Reilly shine in 6-3 win against Coyotes

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