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At the Horn: Sharks 3 - Sabres 4 (OT)

Eichel scores overtime winner in 4-point night

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

On the strength of a four-point night from captain Jack Eichel, including the overtime-winning goal, the Buffalo Sabres defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-3 at KeyBank Center on Wednesday. 

Eichel led the Sabres with two goals and a pair of assists to help the club improve to 8-1-1 on the season. 

With his sixth career overtime goal, Eichel tied Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek for the most in Sabres franchise history.

Sam Reinhart and Jeff Skinner also scored for Buffalo while Carter Hutton made 25 saves. Hutton, the NHL's Third Star last week, is now 6-0-0 this year.

Also, Rasmus Dahlin is on a good stretch offensively:

Tweet from @SabresPR: Rasmus Dahlin recorded his 10th point of the season with an assist tonight, making him the seventh unique Sabres defenseman to record at least 10 points in the team's first 10 games of a season. He is the first to do so since Brian Campbell (1G, 10A) in 2007-08.


How it happened

Buffalo had a flurry of chances early, but found themselves in a 2-0 hole after 20 minutes.

San Jose's first goal ended Hutton's career-long shutout streak at 134:22. Dylan Gambrell tallied 5:46 into the game on a tip from a shot by Erik Karlsson.

The Sharks doubled their lead when Patrick Marleau assisted on Marc-Edouard Vlasic's first of the season with 4:37 to go in the first. 

Buffalo eventually got on the board thanks to strong special teams play following the intermission. 

Eichel then got a slap shot past Jones on the power play 7:21 into the second period. Eichel finished the game with a game-high six shots on net. 

Reinhart tied the game with 31 seconds remaining in the period when, while parked in front of the net, he deflected in a blast from Rasmus Ristolainen. 

Skinner added his sixth of the year to give the Sabres the lead, tapping in a feed from Eichel 45 seconds into the third period. 

However, the Sharks tied it up with 8:33 to play when a shot by Karlsson beat Hutton, ultimately sending the game into overtime. 

On the overtime winner, Ristolainen and Eichel both went hard to the net and Eichel was able to cash in on the only shot registered in the extra period. 

What it means

The Sabres have opened the season with at least five consecutive wins at home for the first time since 1984-85, when they won their first five.

A 5-0-0 record through five home games ties the Sabres' second-best start at home, matching the 1972-73 and 1984-85 seasons. The team's record for most consecutive home wins to begin a season is six, set in the 1975-76 season.

Overall, the Sabres are tied with the second-best record to start a season in franchise history, matching the 17 points (and identical 8-1-1 records) of the 1975-76 and 2009-10 clubs. 

The team's best start ever came in 2006-07 when they went 10-0-0. 


Roll the highlight film

Let's take a look at Eichel's first goal of the night:

Video: SJS@BUF: Eichel rips slap shot off Dahlin's set-up

And here's the OT winner, scored with 1:47 remaining:

Video: SJS@BUF: Eichel knocks in game-winning goal in OT


Coming up

The Sabres will hit the road after Wednesday's practice for a two-game trip. They'll play the Rangers on Thursday and the Red Wings on Friday. 

Then they'll return home for a game on Monday against the Arizona Coyotes at KeyBank Center.

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