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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on Valentine's Day

Buffalo scored an overtime win on 2000s Night

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Sabres picked up a victory on 2000s Night in a way that might have made the alumni from that decade proud. The Sabres battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third period and ended up winning in overtime. 

In his return from injury, rookie Victor Olofsson scored twice, including his first-career overtime goal to lift Buffalo to victory. 

For more on the game and the Golden Season celebrations, read on. 

Here's what you need to know. 

 

 

 

A look back at the win

From the Postgame Report…

Victor Olofsson admitted to feeling a bit frustrated as he worked to find his game during the first two periods against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Olofsson had missed 15 contests since sustaining a lower-body injury on Jan. 2. It being his first experience with an injury of that length, he had little precedent in terms of what to expect coming back. 

Then the Sabres went on the power play in the third period, and it was as if he had never left. Olofsson used his signature one-timer from his signature spot in the right faceoff circle to tie the game, 2-2. He later capped the evening by burying a feed from Jack Eichel in overtime to clinch a 4-3 victory at KeyBank Center. 

"I thought he needed 10 minutes first period," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "He was a little bit off here and there. But once he found his legs - and he found his hands - it was just outstanding to have him back.

"We know why he's the rookie of the year in the National Hockey League for us, no questions asked. He showed it again tonight. We missed him dearly and it was just fabulous to have him back as a person and as a player." 

Video: Victor Olofsson on the postgame show

Video: POSTGAME: Eichel

Even with his long absence, it's no stretch to suggest Olofsson could still find himself in the thick of the race for the Calder Trophy. His two-goal outing gave him 18 this season, moving him ahead of Dennis Gurianov for sole possession of second place among rookies. His 37 points rank third, seven shy of leader Quinn Hughes. 

Krueger has spoken glowingly about the way Olofsson approached his recovery since he returned to practice last Saturday. More so than just spending time in the weight room, Krueger saw Olofsson actively try to study the games. The coach believed he would return a better player for the experience. 

Video: POSTGAME: Rodrigues 

Video: POSTGAME: Krueger

His return was an instant reminder of the threat he provides for a team looking to improve its scoring. Olofsson's night ended with only two shots on net, but both went for goals. 
  
"His shot is so dynamic, all it takes is one, two scoring chances and he changes the game," Evan Rodrigues said. "He's lethal on that side of the power play. It's almost like he doesn't get a shot in the first two periods and then it's one chance and it's in. That's the type of game-changer he is."

 
Read more here.

The Sabres will return to practice on Saturday and then Sunday night, they'll take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at KeyBank Center. It's a 7 p.m. faceoff with the GMC Game Night pregame show on MSG starting at 6:30. Tickets are on sale now.


2000s Night Recap

The decade featured times of change, success and financial stability. Tom Golisano purchased the team out of bankruptcy in 2003 and the team went on a pair of memorable playoff runs in 2006 and 2007 that included a Presidents' Trophy win. 

As part of 2000s Night, the Sabres welcomed back over a dozen alumni and honored Golisano and his ownership team of Larry Quinn and Dan DiPofi.

Check out the video opens and interviews here:

Video: 2000s Night Full Pregame Festivities

Video: Tom Golisano Tribute Video

Video: 2000s Night Video Open

Video: Larry Quinn with Brian Duff

Video: Interview with Commissioner Gary Bettman

Video: Remembering Flight 3407: The Game After

Video: Sabres Memories: Scary Good Goal Call

Video: Inside the Numbers: 2006's 7-6 win vs. Ottawa


Happy Valentine's Day!

 

Here are some #Sabres50 Alumni Valentines for you. Print out the full set here.

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