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game recap

Eichel lifts Sabres past Golden Knights

Scores two goals, Hutton makes 35 saves for Buffalo

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Jack Eichel scored two goals for the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights at KeyBank Center on Monday.

"He's doing the right things, he's leading by example, he's making the right decisions with the puck," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "I know the first game he tried to do too much. He's trusting his teammates now, so it's good to see him playing well."

Jason Pominville and Marco Scandella scored, and Carter Hutton made 35 saves for Buffalo, which has won two in a row after losing its season opener and has a winning record for the first time since Jan. 24, 2013.

 

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Sabres highlights]

 

"It's a credit to our guys," Housley said. "Obviously, there's a lot of things that we still need to clean up. But it's a credit to them. They've put the work in and now they're getting results, which is great for their confidence."

Erik Haula and Jonathan Marchessault scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 13 saves for Vegas.

"We didn't play good enough to win the hockey game," coach Gerard Gallant said. "I'd like to say just because we had a lot of shots ... they were the better team. They were more committed to winning today and we didn't show up good enough."

Eichel gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 14:31 of the first period with a one-timer from the left face-off circle on the power play. He extended the lead to 2-0 after he received a pass from Sam Reinhart in the slot, deked Fleury, and scored on the backhand at 4:58 of the second period. It was the Sabres' first goal at 5-on-5 this season.

Video: VGK@BUF: Eichel makes gorgeous move, roofs backhand

"I thought I started maybe a little bit slow and I think that power-play goal is a good one for me, it gets me going and I thought it got our line going a bit," Eichel said. "I thought we had more chances. We had a few in the second, just didn't really get one. I thought we had a few in the third as well."

Haula made it 2-1 when his shot from the top of the right circle deflected off Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe at 7:48, but Scandella scored 27 seconds later with a point shot through traffic to make it 3-1. 

Pominville scored his first of the season at 9:43 to make it 4-1 on a one-timer from the low slot. 

"Too many [Grade A chances] obviously," forward Max Pacioretty said. "You know, we limited them to a low number of shots, however, the shots that they did get were Grade A opportunities. We can't leave our goaltender out to dry like that."

Marchessault cut it to 4-2 at 10:47 of the third period on a shot from high the slot.

Video: VGK@BUF: Marchessault wires home a wrist shot

 

They said it

"There were mental lapses in the D zone and guys left wide open. You couldn't blame Fleury on any of the goals. When a guy's that close to the net, play comes into the slot twice, they're going to score." -- Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant

 

"Shoot the puck, good things happen. I feel like it was a collective great effort tonight, everyone played well. [Hutton] made some big saves. There's just a new energy in this locker room so it's exciting." -- Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella

 

Need to know

Golden Knights forward William Karlsson had two assists. … Marchessault led all skaters with five shots on goal in the game. … It was Eichel's 16th career multi-goal game. … Sabres forward Kyle Okposo had two assists.

Video: VGK@BUF: Eichel buries blistering one-timer for PPG

 

What's next

Golden Knights: At the Washington Capitals on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN)

Sabres: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, ALT, NHL.TV)

Video: Eichel scores two to lead Sabres to 4-2 victory

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