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At the Horn: Blue Jackets 3 - Sabres 4 (OT)

Olofsson scores twice, including overtime winner in return

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Victor Olofsson made his return to the Buffalo Sabres lineup and scored twice including the overtime winner in Buffalo's 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday at KeyBank Center. 

Olofsson claimed full possession of second place among rookie goal scorers with his 17th and 18th markers of the season. The overtime goal was the first of his career. He had missed the past 15 games with a lower-body injury.

Captain Jack Eichel recorded three points, posting a goal and two assists. 

Evan Rodrigues also scored for Buffalo. Carter Hutton made 28 saves and picked up an assist on Rodrigues' late game-tying goal.

As part of their Golden Season festivities, the Sabres celebrated 2000s Night and welcomed back over a dozen alumni as well as former owner Tom Golisano, so the dramatics of the game were fitting of the era.

Check out the full pregame ceremony here:

Video: 2000s Night Full Pregame Festivities

 

What happened

Buffalo battled back from an early two-goal deficit to put them in a position to earn two points.

Nathan Gerbe, who made his NHL debut with the Sabres in 2008, gave Columbus a 1-0 lead with 27.7 seconds remaining in the first period when he scored on the rush. 

The Blue Jackets went up 2-0 at the 1:31 mark of the second when Boone Jenner tallied, and the Sabres were able to get on the board when Eichel wristed a shot top shelf with 1:13 to go in the middle frame.

Then in the third, Olofsson scored on the power play to tie it up at the 2:10 mark and Rodrigues cut in give Buffalo the lead with 4:26 to go. 

Columbus, however, tied it up with 1:13 remaining in regulation when Markus Nutivaara redirected the puck 

Olofsson nearly scored in the final seconds, but hit the side of the net, and the game went to overtime. 

In overtime, the teams traded breakaways with Jeff Skinner going in on one end and Sonny Milano skating in alone on the other. 

Olofsson's goal came with 2:16 left in the extra period. 


What it means

The Sabres are now 26-24-8 on the season and 17-10-4 at home. They improved to 7-8 in overtime this season. 

With tonight's win, the Sabres have won their season series against the Blue Jackets for the first time since 2015-16. All three games in the series were won in overtime by the home team.

Rasmus Dahlin recorded an assist on both of Olofsson's goals and now has at least one assist in all three games against Columbus this season.

With his first assist, Dahlin passed Rick Hampton (76) for third-most points recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 20th birthday. He now trails only Phil Housley (132) and Ray Bourque (79) for most points ever recorded by a teenage defenseman.

Eichel (1+2) recorded his 19th multi-point game of the season. The Sabres are 14-3-2 in those games.

Eichel's first assist was his 40th of the season. He became the first Sabres player to record 30 goals and 40 assists in a season since Jason Pominville (30+43) in 2011-12.

 

Roll the highlight film

Here's the OT winner:

Video: CBJ@BUF: Olofsson nets Eichel's set-up for OT winner

 

Coming up

The Sabres host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday at KeyBank Center. It's a 7 p.m. faceoff with pregame coverage on MSG starting at 6:30. Tickets are on sale now.


 

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