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game recap

Eichel's two goals help Sabres top Predators

Forward extends point streak to 15 for Buffalo, which is 5-1-3 in past nine games

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

Eichel extends point streak to 15

NSH@BUF: Eichel buries wrister to extend point streak

Jack Eichel roofs a short-side wrist shot from the circle to tie the game at 2 and extend his point streak to 15 games

  • 00:48 •

BUFFALO -- Jack Eichel scored two goals to extend his point streak to an NHL career-high 15 games for the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-3 win against the Nashville Predators at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

Jimmy Vesey and Victor Olofsson scored, and Sam Reinhart had two assists for the Sabres (16-11-6), who have won three in a row and are 5-1-3 in their past nine games. Linus Ullmark made 36 saves.

"Obviously, when you get on a run like this and the team's playing well, you're just really trying to do the little things every night. It's rewarding," Eichel said. "You try and take care of your end and try and be responsible and not do too much, I think good things happen. I've been fortunate. I've gotten some good bounces, I've had some good breaks lately, and our team's been playing really well, so you put those things together, I'm the beneficiary of a lot of really good hockey plays out there and just trying to keep it going. Obviously, you find confidence when you go through a streak like this and it's no different for me."


[WATCH: All Predators vs. Sabres Highlights]


Matt Duchene, Colton Sissons and Ryan Johansen scored, and Juuse Saros made 28 saves for the Predators (14-11-5).

"We've definitely been taking strides to be a consistent winning club again, so taking a step back tonight is frustrating," Johansen said.

Duchene scored 57 seconds into the first period to give Nashville a 1-0 lead, deking Ullmark before going around his left pad and tucking the puck inside the right post.

Video: NSH@BUF: Duchene opens scoring with slick finish

Vesey redirected Rasmus Ristolainen's centering pass in front to tie it 1-1 at 14:33.

Sissons scored to make it 2-1 at 15:32 when he reached out his stick with one hand and redirected Ryan Ellis' initial shot five-hole on Ullmark.

Eichel tied it 2-2 at 4:55 of the second period, deking Predators forward Rocco Grimaldi and scoring short side with a quick snap shot over the right shoulder of Saros. Eichel has 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) during his point streak, which is tied with Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (Nov. 2-30) for the longest in the NHL this season.

Eichel gave Buffalo a 3-2 lead at 14:21 when he deflected a point shot from Henri Jokiharju.

After Johansen was hit by Filip Forsberg's shot in front, he gathered the rebound and shot into an open net from the slot to tie it 3-3 at 16:07.

"I thought we turned the puck over too much in the first period even though we had the lead a couple times. We just turned it over too much," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "We straightened that out. I thought in the third period we came out with all the right intentions. We could've scored in the first shift. We knew it was going to be a tight period. It was a matter of who could get the goal, who could get the chance, who could eliminate a mistake. We made a mistake and they capitalized on it and they got the winner."

Olofsson got his own rebound at the right post to make it 4-3 at 8:29 of the third period. 

Video: NSH@BUF: Olofsson nets own rebound from the crease

"Coming off the St. Louis game (5-2 win on Tuesday), where it was one of the biggest lessons for us in how to manage a game, we were in a similar time frame again against an outstanding hockey team," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "Nashville never gave up, never stopped pushing. They're just so dangerous offensively. I thought the guys did an excellent job at defending down the stretch. There was pressure on us right through, but we battled hard, really hard."


They said it

"I thought it was back and forth the whole game. They had their looks and chances. … We had a couple of really long shifts there in the second period. I thought that we had some shifts to open up the game in the third period. I thought we could've scored one or two goals and it didn't bounce for us. It was a close game. It was up for grabs going into the third period and they got the goal." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette

"The consistency he's showing, it's a lot more than just the play on the ice. It's the leadership, it's everything he's putting into it and that's saying a lot because you know he's always put a lot into his game and he's always been a heck of a player. He's coming up huge for us and he did again tonight." -- Sabres forward Sam Reinhart on captain Jack Eichel


Need to know

Eichel is second in the NHL with 22 goals, trailing only Bruins forward David Pastrnak (26). … Vesey's goal was his 100th point in the NHL. … Nashville lost for the first time in regulation when leading after the first period (7-1-1).


What's next

Predators: Host the Dallas Stars on Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET, FS-TN, FS-SW+, NHL.TV) 

Sabres: At the New York Islanders on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; MSG+, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Video: Eichel extends point streak, leads Sabres past Preds

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