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game recap

Eichel's goal in third lifts Sabres past Golden Knights

Reinhart has three points for Buffalo; Vegas has lost four straight games

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Eichel nets beauty on rush

VGK@BUF: Eichel goes coast-to-coast to reclaim lead

Jack Eichel gets a pass in his own end, leads the rush, dangles around a defender and beats Marc-Andre Fleury to put the Sabres back on t

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BUFFALO -- Jack Eichel scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period for the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

Eichel made it 3-2 at 7:57 when he skated around defenseman Shea Theodore and scored short side on Marc-Andre Fleury at the left post. Curtis Lazar shot from the Sabres zone into an empty net with 25 seconds remaining for the 4-2 final.

"I knew I had [Zemgus Girgensons] coming with me there. [Sam Reinhart] makes a nice play on the wall," said Eichel, who has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in an eight-game point streak. "I think [Theodore] tried to step. I just tried to get it around him. I kind of saw Fleury cheating a little bit on the pass so I just tried to tuck in the short side."

 

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Sabres highlights]

 

Reinhart had a goal and two assists, and Linus Ullmark made 24 saves for Buffalo (21-19-7), which has won four of its past six games.

"You just come to work and it's a new day. There's no moping around, there's no hard feelings," Sabres forward Kyle Okposo said of coach Ralph Krueger's ability to get the team back on track after a loss. "You're going to lose games in this League. Just the positivity and just the way that he speaks and motivates has been awesome for us this year."

Tomas Nosek and Reilly Smith scored, and Fleury made 22 saves for Vegas (24-19-6), which has been outscored 16-7 in a four-game losing streak.

Video: VGK@BUF: Nosek buries Stephenson's centering attempt

"It's tougher, especially when you're losing to teams you know that you're better than, and we're a better hockey team," Golden Knights forward Mark Stone said. "Just have to find ways to put the puck in the net, and we've kind of gotten stale last bunch of games."

Chandler Stephenson's cross-crease pass deflected off Nosek's skate into the open net to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead at 1:55 of the second period.

Okposo tied it 1-1 on the power play at 6:32 after Conor Sheary forced a turnover by William Karlsson inside Vegas' blue line.

Video: VGK@BUF: Okposo nets equalizer off turnover

Reinhart put the Sabres ahead 2-1 with 29 seconds left in the second with a power-play goal from the slot. 

"It's gone from real good the first 25 games to having a lot of trouble right now," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said of the penalty kill. "I hate to say it, but I don't see a whole lot of difference. They're still doing the same type of things, whether it's unlucky or bad opportunities. The first one, we should have got it cleared. We didn't, the guy picked his pocket, so things happen like that. But overall, they're doing the same things, it's just not working right now."

Smith's wrist shot from the right circle on the power play tied it 2-2 at 1:43 of the third period.

Video: VGK@BUF: Smith nets PPG on laser from the dot

"I thought we did well," Eichel said. "Give them credit. They're a veteran team. They don't give you a whole lot, they check really well, they transition the puck well. You can tell those guys obviously had some runs in the [Stanley Cup Playoffs]. I give us a lot of credit for sticking with it, finding a way to get two points."

Video: VGK@BUF: Reinhart nets PPG on Ristolainen's set-up

 

They said it

"When you lose, it's never a good feeling. You always think you can do much more. And again tonight, the last one I felt I played the pass too much instead of playing Eichel there. He got the game-winning goal. It's frustrating." -- Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury

"It was definitely the genius that he has in him that came out on that goal. I think we were all quite frustrated with the second period and came out of it actually unscathed. That was the language between periods. For him to come out with that energy and to understand the opportunity we had after the painful 2-2 goal, the situation we were in after the penalties, it's just the leader that we have in Jack and the player that we have in Jack. It all came through in that moment of brilliance." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger on Jack Eichel

 

Need to know

Eichel has 61 points (28 goals, 33 assists) this season. He is the first Sabres player to reach 60 points in 46 games or fewer since Alexander Mogilny (33 games) and Pat LaFontaine (34 games) each did so in 1992-93. … Buffalo has scored multiple power-play goals in consecutive games for the first time since doing it in three straight to begin the season from Oct. 5-9. … Vegas has allowed at least one power-play goal in each of its past six games (6-for-14 on penalty kill).

 

What's next

Golden Knights: At the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV) 

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

Video: Reinhart, Eichel lead Sabres past Golden Knights, 4-2

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