Sabres win OT thriller on 2000s Night, 4-3 over Columbus

February 13, 2020 - 7:24 pm
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A back and forth affair on 2000s Night saw the Buffalo Sabres emerge victorious in overtime, 4-3 over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It was the blue and gold's second overtime win over Columbus this month.

The teams played a fairly even, penalty-free first period and were on the verge of heading to intermission scoreless before the Blue Jackets struck late in the opening frame. 

Former Buffalo Sabres forward Nathan Gerbe got the scoring started with just 28-seconds left on the docket, as he cashed in as the trailing skater on a 2-on-1 between Vladislav Gavrikov and Riley Nash.  Gavrikov dished the puck back to Gerbe after Carter Hutton seemed to get his skate caught in a rut on the ice as he fell backwards in his crease as the play closed in on him.

Columbus added to their lead just 1:31 into the middle stanza.  Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski let loose a point shot towards Hutton, but on its way the puck was re-directed by forward Boone Jenner.  Jenner's deflection beat the Buffalo netminder clean, and made it a 2-0 contest in KeyBank Center.

The Sabres finally got on the board with 1:13 left in the second, on the strength of a shot from their captain off a rush.

Jack Eichel picked up a puck off the side wall in the Buffalo end, and turned on the jets through the neutral zone and into the Blue Jackets zone.  Eichel made his way to the left-wing side of the ice, before cutting back towards the middle and roofing a wrist shot high past the glove side of goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks to cut the Sabres deficit in half just ahead of the third period, at 2-1.

It was the captain's 32nd goal of the season.

Buffalo found the equalizer just 2:10 into the final period of regulation.  With Columbus captain Nick Foligno serving the game's first penalty, Eichel found Victor Olofsson nestled in his right-wing office on the man advantage.  Olofsson wired a one-timer past Kivlenieks for his 17th goal of his rookie season, 10th on the powerplay, and first in this his first game since missing 15 games with a lower-body injury.

The scoring kept on coming for the Sabres later in the period, who took their first lead of the night thanks to Evan Rodrigues with just under 4:30 to play.  The forward took a pass from Jeff Skinner up through the neutral zone and into the Blue Jackets end, before showing off a nifty move to create space on the Columbus defense.  Rodrigues curled and dragged the puck towards the middle of the ice, before beating Kivlenieks with a wrister to give Buffalo a 3-2, third period edge.

For Skinner, the primary assist on the go-ahead score was his first point since the month of December.

Unfortunately the hard-earned lead did not last too long for the Sabres.  Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella pulled Kivlenieks late in the game for an extra attacker, and his team rewarded the decision.  Forward Markus Nutivaara tied the score with just 73-seconds standing in between Buffalo and a comeback victory.  Instead, Nutivaara's game-tying goal sent the action to an overtime period.

There were breakaways and chances aplenty inside the five-minute extra frame, but both goaltenders stood tall through it all.  However, the Sabres changed that notion just past the halfway mark of overtime.

With 2:44 wound off the clock, Eichel made his way into the Blue Jackets zone with Olofsson trailing on the play.  As the captain dragged the defenders in deep with him, he dished the puck back to the rookie forward who deposited the game-winning goal into the net for the 4-3 victory.

It was Olofsson's 18th goal of the campaign, and second of the night after missing well over a month with injury.

 

GAME SUMMARY

 

Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: NONE
CBJ: 19:32 - Nathan Gerbe (4) (Vladislav Gavrikov, Riley Nash)

Second Period:

BUF: 18:47 - Jack Eichel (32) (Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen)
CBJ: 1:31 - Boone Jenner (10) (Zach Werenski, Liam Foudy)

Third Period:

BUF: 2:10 - Victor Olofsson (17) PPG (Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin); 15:34 - Evan Rodrigues (5) (Jeff Skinner, Carter Hutton)
CBJ: 18:47 - Markus Nutivaara (3) (Oliver Bjorkstrand, Nick Foligno)

Overtime:

BUF: 2:44 - Victor Olofsson (18) (Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin)
CBJ: NONE

 

Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: NONE
CBJ: NONE

Second Period:

BUF: NONE
CBJ: NONE

Third Period:

BUF: 4:55 - Jake McCabe (Cross-Checking - 2 min.; served by Kyle Okposo); 4:55 - Jake McCabe (Cross-Checking - 2 min.)
CBJ: 1:00 - Nick Foligno (Tripping - 2 min.); 4:55 - Eric Robinson (Goaltender Interference - 2 min.)

Overtime:

BUF: NONE
CBJ: NONE

 

Strategic Financial Solutions Complete Stats Of The Game

Strategic Financial Solutions Stats of the Game:

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 27 (8, 7, 9, 3)
CBJ: 31 (10, 11, 8, 2)


Goalies:

BUF: Carter Hutton - 28 saves
CBJ: Matiss Kivlenieks - 23 saves


Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 1 (100%)
CBJ: 0 for 1 (0%)


Three Stars presented by Losi and Gangi:

1. Victor Olofsson - BUF
2. Jack Eichel - BUF
3. Markus Nutivaara - CBJ


What's Next:

Buffalo's four-game homestand comes to a close on Sunday night when the blue and gold welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to town.  Puck drop inside KeyBank Center is set for 7 p.m. and the Paul William Beltz Pre-Game Show with Brian Koziol starts at 6 p.m. on WGR.

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