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game recap

Jack Eichel propels Sabres past Predators

Buffalo rallies for overtime win at Nashville

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Jack Eichel scored his second goal of the game at 2:35 of overtime to help the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-4 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

Eichel cut around Predators forward Colin Wilson and beat Predators goaltender Juuse Saros for his 12th goal of the season. 

"I was just trying to build some speed and attack them," Eichel said. "I noticed that I had a forward playing [defense] back there, so I just tried to use my speed and go after him and obviously try and get a shot on. He's a really athletic goaltender and he makes it hard on you, so I'm just trying to move him a little bit and get it up."

 

WATCH: All Sabres vs. Predators highlights

 

Sabres forward Kyle Okposo tied the game 4-4 with 1:05 remaining in the third period on a shot from the right faceoff circle. He beat Predators forward Ryan Johansen to the puck and shot it past Saros for his 15th goal.

Zemgus Girgensons and Brian Gionta also scored and Robin Lehner made 35 saves for Buffalo (20-18-9), which has won three in a row.

"It's great to see the way we played," Eichel said. "We stuck with it for 60 minutes. We got down two goals on the road against a really good hockey team and were able to find a way to get it to overtime and win it. It says a lot about the resiliency of this team. It's nice to be a part of games like that."

James Neal scored a goal and an assist, and Filip Forsberg, Cody McLeod and Viktor Arvidsson also scored for Nashville (23-17-8), which had won three straight. Saros made 32 saves.

Video: BUF@NSH: Neal cashes in on one-timer from Jarnkrok

Gionta scored to make it 4-3 at 14:10 of the third period. Girgensons made a cross-ice pass to Gionta, who beat Saros for his 11th goal.

Arvidsson gave the Predators a 3-2 lead at 5:08 of the third period on the power play. Arvidsson got to the rebound of his own shot and jammed the puck past Lehner for his 12th goal.

Neal gave the Predators a 4-2 lead at 10:17 of the third period on a one-timer from the slot. Forward Calle Jarnkrok led the rush and fed Neal with the pass, and he shot it past Lehner for his 17th goal.

Forsberg gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 8:43 of the first period on a shorthanded goal. It was his 15th goal of the season and his 12th in his past 18 games.

Girgensons tied the game 1-1 at 12:12 of the second period on a rebound.

McLeod gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 17:28 of the second period on an attempt from behind the net for his third goal.

"There was a few shifts where we were stringing some good [offensive zone] time together, and then a couple lapses," McLeod said. "[We] couldn't get the puck out of our end, and that's what happens. It's in the back of your net."

Eichel tied the game 2-2 with 17.4 seconds remaining in the second period.

 

Goal of the game

Okposo's goal came while the Sabres had an extra attacker. The Predators were trying to clear the zone, and Okposo took a whack at the puck that found its way past Saros.

Video: BUF@NSH: Okposo reaches around defenseman to tie game

 

Save of the game

Lehner made a save on Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis on the power play in the first period on a one-timer from the left faceoff circle. Lehner slid across the crease and got in position to make the save without allowing a rebound.

Video: BUF@NSH: Lehner turns away laser one-timer from Ellis

 

Unsung performance of the game

Franson released a quick shot from the point that created the rebound for Eichel to make it 2-2. Franson got the shot through traffic to create the chance.

Video: BUF@NSH: Eichel ties game with timely rebound goal

 

Highlight of the game

Eichel's goal to win the game started in the defensive zone. The Sabres were changing lines, and Eichel took the puck into the zone 1-on-3 and cut to the inside to beat Saros above the glove.

Video: BUF@NSH: Eichel makes nifty move, snaps game-winner

 

They said it

"It was just kind of a cluster off the faceoff. The puck was just kind of bouncing around. I just tried to whack it to the net. I still have no idea how it went in, but I'll take it." -- Sabres forward Kyle Okposo

 

"I think you've got to learn from every game that you play in. It's just tough. It's a 60-minute game. We had a two-goal lead there in the third period, and we let them back in it. That's how quickly a game can change." -- Predators forward Cody McLeod

 

Need to know

Sabres defenseman Dmitry Kulikov returned to the lineup after missing 12 games because of a back injury. He played 24:11 and blocked seven shots. … Predators forward Colin Wilson returned to the lineup after missing eight games because of a lower-body injury.

 

What's next

Sabres: At the Dallas Stars on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Predators: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Eichel, Sabres finish off comeback in OT

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