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At the Horn: Sabres 5 - Canucks 6 (OT)

Buffalo comes back three times, but Vancouver picks up overtime victory

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The Buffalo Sabres' comeback efforts against the Vancouver Canucks yielded one point on Saturday. 

Jack Eichel shot and scored with 2:51 left in overtime, but just before he fired, Henri Jokiharju was called for tripping, negating the goal and sending Vancouver to the power play. J.T. Miller then ripped home a one-timer on that man advantage 1:12 later to give the Canucks a 6-5 win at Rogers Arena.

The Sabres fought back to tie the game on three different occasions with Kyle Okposo, Sam Reinhart, Victor Olofsson, Zemgus Girgensons and Marcus Johansson scoring for Buffalo. Johansson forced overtime with his goal with 58.5 seconds remaining in regulation. Carter Hutton made 24 saves in net.

Buffalo is now 0-1-1 on the Western Canadian road trip that will conclude on Sunday in Edmonton. The Sabres fell just short of rallying back from a three-goal deficit on Thursday against Calgary, but they were able to earn a point in Vancouver.  

What happened

Canucks forward Josh Leivo picked up a long stretch pass down the right wing, got by the Sabres defense and beat Hutton to open the scoring with 7:03 remaining in the first period.

The Sabres were outshot 9-3 in the first and it looked like things could spiral out of control when Antoine Roussel made it 2-0 just 3:07 into the second period. 

A wrist shot by Tyler Myers hit a body in front, and Roussel was able to flip the puck into an empty net. 

However, Buffalo quickly rallied back to tie the game.  

Okposo skated right down the middle of the ice and put home a behind-the-net pass from Johan Larsson 5:24 into the second. He beat Thatcher Demko five-hole with a one-timer for his first goal since opening night. Okposo had missed the previous 10 games due to a concussion.

Then 1:04 later, on a delayed penalty call, Rasmus Ristolainen stepped into a wrister from the right faceoff circle and Reinhart tipped it in to tie the game. 

The Canucks took the lead once more with 2:49 remaining in the second. Leivo netted his second of the game after Vancouver collected a turnover in the neutral zone just after they killed off a penalty. The Canucks set up and Leivo scored short side.  

The Sabres tied it up again when Olofsson scored on the power play with 43.2 seconds remaining in the second period. 

Vancouver took the lead once again when Tyler Myers potted a shorthanded goal at the 4:51 mark of the third, and they went up by two goals when Roussel banged in a rebound to make it 5-3.

Girgensons cut in and his shot deflected in to put Buffalo within one with 7:55 remaining in regulation. Then with the goaltender pulled, Johansson completed the comeback with his fifth goal of the season.

What it means

The Sabres are now 13-11-6 on the season and 5-8-3 on the road. 

Buffalo has surrendered a league-high five shorthanded goals this season. The Sabres' power play finished the game 1-for-4.

The following point streaks were kept alive for Buffalo:

Jack Eichel - 12 games - 22 points (10+12)
Victor Olofsson - 3 games - 6 points (2+4) 
Rasmus Ristolainen - 5 games - 6 points (1+5)

Eichel's 12-game point streak is the longest active streak in the NHL and the longest of his career. Tim Connolly was the last Sabre to record a 12-game point streak when he tallied points in 16 straight from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 25, 2010.

Eichel now has 300 career points (119+181) in 316 career NHL games. 

Olofsson also has recorded 16 points (6+10) in his last 15 games. His power-play goal against the Canucks was his first marker with the man advantage since Oct. 16, the day he set an NHL record by scoring the first eight goals of his career on the power play. 

Roll the highlight film

Here's how Buffalo forced overtime:

Video: BUF@VAN: Johansson ties it in final minute of 3rd

Up next

The Sabres are right back in action on Sunday. They'll go up against the Edmonton Oilers from Rogers Place. It's an 8 p.m. ET faceoff. Pregame coverage on MSG will start at 7:30. 

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