Sabres alternate captain Ryan O'Reilly will represent the team at the NHL's All-Star festivities at the end of this month in Nashville. In celebration of his first All-Star selection, let's look back at the top plays that got him there.
O'Reilly ties it late against San Jose (11/14/15)
O'Reilly's knack for scoring game-tying goals for the Sabres can be traced back to this Saturday night game at First Niagara Center. Buffalo had trailed San Jose 1-0 for almost the entirety of the game after Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored a power-play goal just 1:48 into the first period.
As the clock dwindled down in the third, O'Reilly took matters into his own hands by roofing a laser into the far-side corner. The 1-1 tie held until the end of regulation and earned Buffalo a point in the standings.
Helper in Nashville (11/28/15)
This play easily could have been a goal for O'Reilly had McGinn not tapped the puck prior to it crossing the goal line. O'Reilly shot the puck from one side, wrapped around behind the net and shot again on his own rebound.
The shot looked like it was headed in, but McGinn took no chances and knocked it forward to earn the goal that tied the game 1-1 in what eventually became a 4-1 Sabres win.
5. First goal as a Sabre against Columbus (10/12/15)
Believe it or not, it took O'Reilly until his third game to get on the board as a member of the Sabres. Still searching for its first win, Buffalo entered the third period with a 1-0 lead against Columbus and went on the power play shortly into the period. O'Reilly utilized a turn-around feed from Matt Moulson to extend the Sabres' lead on their way to a 4-2 victory.
4. Go-ahead goal against Chicago (12/19/15)
If not for what transpired afterward, this goal might contend for the top spot. With the Sabres and the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks deadlocked 1-1 with less than five minutes to go in the third period, O'Reilly took a behind-the-net feed from Reinhart and netted the go-ahead goal. Chicago went on to earn a 5-on-3 power play and score in the final minute, however, eventually winning 3-2 in a shootout.
3. Igniting a comeback in Boston (12/26/15)
Buffalo's wild comeback in Boston on the day after Christmas will be remembered due in large part to Jack Eichel's heroics, tallying four points in his first game back in his hometown. O'Reilly's role, however, was of equal importance.
Trailing 3-1 with just 9:39 remaining, O'Reilly caught a rebound off the end boards and scored to ignite the comeback and recapture momentum for the Sabres in an important win against a division rival.
Eichel scored to tie it less than a minute later, O'Reilly earned the primary assist on Jamie McGinn's go-ahead goal and both Eichel and O'Reilly added empty-netters in the 6-3 win.
2. Tied up at the Joe (12/14/15)
Much like in their game against San Jose, the Sabres found themselves down 1-0 late in the third period on this Monday night at Joe Louis Arena. And, also much like their game against the Sharks, it was O'Reilly who forced the tie in the final five minutes.
O'Reilly swept across the net to redirect a shot from Sam Reinhart past Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek to tie the game 1-1 with 4:14 remaining in the game. Johan Larsson scored just 1:01 later and the Sabres captured a 2-1 victory.
1. King of Overtime (12/12/15)
Buffalo desperately needed a win at home against the Los Angeles Kings coming off of a tough three-game road trip in Western Canada and – surprise – Ryan O'Reilly delivered. Tied 1-1 in overtime, the Sabres' alternate captain scored his most memorable goal of the year - and he fell to the ice as he did it.