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Sabres put out the Flames

Eichel buries OT winner in Calgary

A game that was pretty much dreaded turned out to be a weight lifted off of Buffalo’s shoulders.

Captain Jack Eichel, who was on a pointless five-game streak, scored one minute and ten seconds into overtime, sealing the Sabres victory and breaking the team’s losing streak. The 4-3 win over Calgary is exactly what Buffalo needed, especially after the biggest blowout of the season Monday night versus the New York Islanders (7-2).

“It was a positive bench all night,” Eichel said following the game. “Through the adversity, through the ups and downs, everyone was staying up. We really had the mindset that we were going to win no matter what. When that’s going down the bench and the whole team feels that way, it’s a good feeling.”

Although Calgary opened up the scoring with a goal from Johnny Gaudreau — his 28th of the season — with a half a second left in the first period, the Sabres did not give up the fight. Evan Rodrigues tied it up in the second period before Matthew Tkachuk brought the Flames into the lead at 6:49 in the third period. Rasmas Dahlin answered 45 seconds later with a slap shot over David Rittich’s glove. Dahlin had a record night — His goal extended his point streak to five games, matching the longest such run by an 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history. Less than three minutes later, Jake McCabe brought the Sabres to a 3-2 lead. After holding onto the lead, the Flames would tie the game with a goal from Noah Hanifin and send it into overtime. Buffalo was outshot 12-3 in third period and overtime, but they managed to score on all three of those shots.

“I said it last game, sometimes those games make you come together even more,” Rodrigues said. “I think it kind of showed today. We battled through the whole game.”

“I just liked the response from our guys,” coach Phil Housley said. “If you went right up and down our lineup, everybody contributed. Obviously Linus made some key saves for us, but we had some really good looks starting right off the bat.”

The Sabres (24-17-6) have their last game before the All-Star by-week Friday night against the Vancouver Canucks. Leaving Canada with a win would place them just two points outside of a playoff spot.

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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
6146-11-496
6035-17-878
5936-19-476
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
5835-17-676
6033-20-773
6032-21-771
Wild Card leaders:
6032-21-771
5933-23-369
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6031-23-668
5928-24-763
6028-25-763
5826-24-860
5926-25-860
6023-29-854
6023-29-854
5922-32-549
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
5936-19-476
6134-22-573
5932-22-569
Pacific Division Leaders:
5936-16-779
6035-17-878
6132-25-468
Wild Card leaders:
5829-24-563
6027-27-660
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5924-24-1159
6025-26-959
6026-27-759
5926-28-557
6024-27-957
5824-29-553
5923-30-652