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game recap

Eichel scores on OT penalty shot to lift Sabres past Oilers

Wins it 1:09 into extra period, ends Buffalo's four-game losing streak

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

Eichel's penalty-shot goal in OT

EDM@BUF: Eichel converts on penalty shot in overtime

Jack Eichel fires the puck past Mike Smith's glove on a penalty shot in overtime, lifting the Sabres to a 3-2 win

  • 00:48 •

BUFFALO -- Jack Eichel scored on a penalty shot 1:09 into overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

Eichel skated the puck from behind the Buffalo net and past the Edmonton defense for a breakaway before he was hooked by Oscar Klefbom to set up his first goal on a penalty shot in the NHL.

"Just try to score, honestly. Just come down, shoot it," Eichel said. "I was fighting it a little bit tonight. So just come down, keep it simple, try to shoot the puck. It's nice to see it go in."


[WATCH: All Oilers vs. Sabres highlights]


Buffalo forced overtime when Sam Reinhart deflected Zach Bogosian's shot from the blue line at 3:53 of the third period to tie the game 2-2.

Video: EDM@BUF: Reinhart deflects in 100th NHL goal

Linus Ullmark made 25 saves for the Sabres (18-17-7), who ended a four-game losing streak.

"I think we just stuck with the game plan," said Buffalo forward Curtis Lazar, who scored in the first period. "You never want to get down two goals at home but we rallied. As a team we're trying to make a push. It's that time of year, and tonight was a good start."

Riley Sheahan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored, and Mike Smith made 21 saves for the Oilers (21-17-5). 

"I liked [that] we played a strong first period, but I knew we were going to have to raise our level after that. We just didn't," Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said. "The game just kind of went along and we didn't grab it. We gave up two goals where we got out-competed in front of our net. And you get yourself to overtime and anything can happen."

Sheahan gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead, jumping on a deflected puck by Josh Archibald at the left side of the net at 5:06 of the first period.

Nugent-Hopkins made it 2-0 at 7:00 when he connected on a rebound in the low slot. 

Video: EDM@BUF: Nugent-Hopkins bangs in rebound

"It's kind of the same story. We're up 6-1, we gave up four goals last game," Edmonton captain Connor McDavid said. "We've got to find a way to defend a lead better."

Lazar tapped in a wraparound cross-crease pass from Marcus Johansson to cut it to 2-1 at 8:39.

Video: EDM@BUF: Lazar cleans up Johansson's wraparound

"With his vision, you've got to be ready for anything," Lazar said. "I was actually trying to go forehand backhand and it just kind of went off my stick and in. That's how it's going for me right now. We'll take it."

Sabres forward Victor Olofsson left the game at 3:53 of the third after he fell awkwardly in the corner.

Video: Eichel's 26th of the season wins it for the Sabres


They said it

"Decent start but our coverage in front of the net was not adequate tonight and we turned a lot of pucks over. A lot of their chances were just on us turning the puck over." -- Oilers coach Dave Tippett

"Just the struggles of late and the way the players have processed those and continued to work together, it's an important signal here in 2020 to kick off the year with a win against a very good hockey team. They pushed us, they tested us, and they came out of the gates better than we did. We needed to play our best hockey to turn this game around." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

Video: Bridgestone Clutch Performance: Jack Eichel


Need to know

Eichel is the first player in Sabres history to score a penalty-shot goal in overtime. … Eichel scored his seventh overtime goal in the NHL, moving him past Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek for most in Buffalo history. … Sheahan has scored two of his four goals this season against the Sabres. ... Leon Draisaitl had an assist on Nugent-Hopkins' goal and has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in the past 15 games.


What's next

Oilers: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday (1 p.m. ET, ESPN+, SN, NESN, NHL.TV) 

Sabres: Host the Florida Panthers on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Video: Eichel scores on OT penalty shot, Sabres top Oilers

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