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Sharpen Up: January 25, 2017

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

It's quite a scene to imagine: Jack Eichel on the bench, insisting that the Buffalo Sabres were going to leave Bridgestone Arena with a win even when the circumstances suggested otherwise. Such was the scene Dan Bylsma described once the Sabres allowed a second third-period goal and trailed the Nashville Predators 4-2 with less than 10 minutes to play.

Watching Eichel validate his prediction was quite the scene, too. Brian Gionta scored to bring the Sabres within one and Kyle Okposo tied the game with 1:05 remaining in regulation, setting the stage for Eichel to receive the puck in his own zone in overtime.

Eichel skated slowly past the blue line, then accelerated through the neutral zone. He carried the puck into the Nashville zone, made a superstar move to deke a defender and free himself for a shot from the middle of the ice, and - with his father in the stands - buried the game winner to the glove side, his second goal of the night.

Watch it for yourself, with Rick Jeanneret on the call: 

Video: BUF@NSH: Eichel makes nifty move, snaps game-winner

Here's Jack talking with Brian Duff and Brady May on the postgame show:

Video: Jack Eichel on the postgame show

Fact: the game was so much more than just Eichel's overtime goal. Make sure to check out Chris Ryndak's recap for the full story on the comeback

The win was, incredibly, the Sabres' third in a row in overtime. It's only the second time in franchise history they've accomplished that feat, having last done it in November of 2006. Back then, it was Danny Briere (twice) and Thomas Vanek scoring the overtime winners for a team that was known for its ability to come back.

Ten years later, at least for a three-game stretch in January, these games are starting to look familiar. 


Let's hear from inside the locker room

Video: EICHEL: Postgame Interview

Video: LEHNER: Postgame Interview

Video: OKPOSO: Postgame Interview

Video: GIONTA: Postgame Interview

Video: BYLSMA: Postgame Interview


Fun facts

-   Lehner said that it felt like it had been a while since he won a game in which he'd given up four goals. That's because it has. The last time Lehner allowed four goals and won was Feb. 4, 2014, when he was still an Ottawa Senator. Lehner made 46 saves against St. Louis in that game and the Senators won 5-4. 
-   Nashville entered last night's game as the only team in the NHL that hadn't lost a game in regulation after scoring first. That's still true, but it shows that the Sabres came back against a team that isn't exactly prone to allowing teams to come back.
-   Per Sabres PR: In Eichel's career, the Sabres are now 19-7-2 (.714) in games in which he scores and 15-3-1 (.816) when he tallies two or more points.
-   Yesterday was Dmitry Kulikov's first game back from a 12-game absence due to a lower-back injury. Kulikov skated 24:11 of ice time, second amongst Sabres defensemen, and accumulated four hits and seven blocked shots.


Amerks Update

Justin Bailey capped a seven-game goal-scoring streak over the weekend, and he was our featured player in this week's Amerks Update. Check it out here for more on Bailey's streak, a quick recap of last weekend's games and for information on Friday's "Hometown Heroes Night."


On Tap

The Sabres are set to hit the ice for practice in Dallas at 3 p.m. EST, and Chris Ryndak and Brian Duff will be on hand to provide full coverage. Duffer will also be posting a new "Duffalo" blog, so keep an eye out for that as well.

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