With the team on a five-game slide heading into tonight’s matchup, the Sabres looked to get on the right side of the result yet again, especially following a rough final period Saturday that ended in a 6-2 loss. Buffalo looked to erase recent struggles as they hosted the L.A. Kings tonight. Despite trailing by two at the start of the third, the team came back and won in OT off Jeff Skinner’s 21st of the year and third in OT to give the Sabres a 4-3 OT win at KeyBank Center.
Linus Ullmark started his third straight game tonight, but Carter Hutton returned the lineup after suffering an upper body injury early last week. While there were moments when he struggled early on, he finished with 26 saves on 29 shots faced and earned his sixth win of the season.
Although the Sabres started the game with a multitude of scoring chances, it was Jake Muzzin opening the scoring for L.A., which followed a scramble in front of the net and left Ullmark in a bad position. After being scratched last game, Zemgus Girgensons tied the game for Buffalo with his third of the year late in the opening period, giving his team something to build off as the game went on.
Unfortunately, the next period did not start well as Matt Luff scored under a minute in to give the lead back to L.A. Adrian Kempe extended their lead with approximately seven minutes remaining in the period and helped the Kings finish the first 40 minutes with a 3-1 lead.
However, the Sabres responded with a strong final period of regulation, which finished with a 16-4 edge in shots on goal. Early in the third, Jack Eichel scored his tenth of the year, as well as his fifth goal in three games and brought the Sabres back to within one. Minutes later, Johan Larsson scores his second to tie it all up at three to finish regulation before Skinner scored a minute and a half into OT in yet another comeback victory for Buffalo this season.
“We got back to the team we want to be in the 3rd…I just tried to beat my guy and [Pilut] made a good play…I was hoping he saw me…”- Johan Larsson.
The Sabres finished the game with a substantial advantage in shots on goal, 47-29, including a 20-4 edge in the third period as well as OT. This game also had a physical side that was dominated by the Kings, which consisted of them holding a 21-13 edge in hits. Both teams combined for over thirty penalty minutes, and also involved a fight between Zach Bogosian and Nate Thompson just under six minutes into the third period.
After the five-game losing streak was snapped tonight, the team will look to build momentum when the Arizona Coyotes travel to Buffalo Thursday night when the two teams square off at KeyBank Center, puck drop set for 7 p.m.