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At the Horn: Maple Leafs 4 - Sabres 6

Vesey records game winner, Eichel posts 3 points in first game of back-to-back set against Toronto

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Jack Eichel extended his point streak to eight games with a three-point night against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Buffalo Sabres' 6-4 win on Friday at KeyBank Center. 

Buffalo used a four-goal second period to rally back from an early 2-0 deficit. 

Jimmy Vesey was credited with the game winner 8:34 into the third period. Jeff Skinner, Victor Olofsson and Casey Mittelstadt also scored for Buffalo. Eichel picked up two goals and an assist for his ninth multi-point game of the season.

Linus Ullmark had a strong game in net for Buffalo, making 25 saves. He faced a barrage of Maple Leafs chances, especially in the final three minutes when Toronto made their final push. 

Rookie Rasmus Asplund was awarded a penalty shot with 0.9 seconds remaining. He was stopped by Michael Hutchinson, who was credited with 30 saves in the game. The attempt was Buffalo's first penalty shot since Dec. 22, 2017 against Philadelphia when Brian Elliot stopped Evander Kane.


What happened

Toronto got on the board first with a pair of goals from captain John Tavares. His first came with 1:06 to play in the first period and then he doubled the score at the 1:21 mark of the second. 

Then Buffalo staged their comeback, starting with a goal from Skinner 5:45 into the second and then one from Eichel at 9:43. Mittelstadt deflected in a point shot from Marco Scandella to put Buffalo ahead with 7:52 to go in the middle frame. Olofsson's hard wrist shot with 1:06 to go in the second found the back of the net to give the Sabres a 4-2 lead.

The Maple Leafs made it a one-goal game when Dmytro Timashov scored 6:50 into the third, but the Sabres responded right away when Vesey scored his third goal in three games 1:44 later.

Toronto got back within one with 7:50 to go. Kaspari Kapanen capitalized on a pass from Nic Petan. 

Eichel iced it with an empty-net goal with 27 seconds left. 


What it means

Buffalo is 12-10-4 on the season and 7-3-3 on home ice after the win.  

Eichel's second-period goal has extended his point streak to eight games and he now has 15 points (8+7) in that stretch. 

With Buffalo's fourth goal of the game, Olofsson extended his career-best point streak to six games (3+3).

Olofsson has now recorded points in 10 of his last 11 games (4+6), including a point in each of his last six home games (2+4).

Tweet from @PR_NHL: Only three @BuffaloSabres players have been the first rookie to 10 goals in a season: @vickeo (2019-20)Richard Martin (1971-72)Gilbert Perreault (1970-71)#NHLStats pic.twitter.com/7PZPS4GLbp

With his goal today, Skinner now has 10 goals at 5-on-5 this season, tying him for sixth in the NHL. Since joining the Sabres prior to the 2018-19 season, Skinner's 37 5-on-5 goals are tied for third in the NHL, three off the league lead.

Vesey's assist on Mittelstadt's goal has extended his point streak to a career-high four games (2+2). Mittelstadt's marker was his fourth of the season, and his first since Oct. 19. 

 

Roll the highlight film

Eichel now has 19 points (12+7) in 13 career games against Toronto. Here's his first goal:

Video: TOR@BUF: Eichel pots wrist shot on odd-man rush


Up next

The Sabres and Maple Leafs will go at it again tomorrow night in Toronto. 

And don't miss the intermission report after the first and second periods for the broadcast premiere of "Beyond Blue and Gold: Ray v. Domi." Former enforcers Rob Ray and Tie Domi sat down to watch all 13 of their NHL fights, and we recorded every minute of it. 

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Ray vs. Domi. This Saturday...Tune in during our game on @MSGNetworks: https://t.co/lSveDfBUnr pic.twitter.com/G5veuVuZc6

We have more on that here. 

Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with the Buick Game Night pregame show starting at 6:30 on MSG. 

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