Zacha hands Buffalo OT loss

If there’s one team the Sabres wanted to keep playing, there’s no doubt it’s the New Jersey Devils. Buffalo has found success against this team early on this season, but tonight, they couldn’t find victory.

Pavel Zacha ripped a shot past Carter Hutton early in overtime to send his team off with the 4-3 win.

The Sabres were in good shape until early in the third period when Taylor Hall was called for a double-minor high-sticking penalty. The Devils scored twice during that to flip the script, and the Sabres found themselves trailing for the first time of the night.

16:28Riley Sheahan (2)Victor Olofsson (8)---
25:27Jesper Bratt (1)Pavel Zacha (6)Damon Severson (7)
28:03PPGCasey Mittlestadt (1)Eric Staal (5)Colin Miller (3)
34:25PPGMiles Wood (6)Nikita Gusev (2)Ty Smith (7)
36:45Nico Hischier (1)Pavel Zacha (7)---
315:30PPGSam Reinhart (7)Taylor Hall (11)Rasmus Dahlin (7)
OT1:17Pavel Zacha (5)Jesper Bratt (5)Ty Smith (8)

Luckily one of the Sabres most consistent players, Sam Reinhart, cashed in on the power play, which allowed Buffalo to salvage a point in the loss, but they’re going to need to start winning a whole lot more if they want any chance of making the playoffs.

Jack Eichel was expected to play but then was ruled out with an injury just shortly before the game started.

But a guy wearing his old number (#15) opened the scoring. Riley Sheahan found the net, and later in the game, Casey Mittelstadt recorded his first goal of the year (on the power play).

Jeff Skinner was a healthy scratch for the third straight game as he continues to be in the doghouse, even though Head Coach Ralph Krueger wouldn’t admit it earlier today.

Linus Ullmark exited the game after an injury in the first period:

Hutton allowed four goals on 25 shots and took the loss:

Zacha had three points on the night and Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 29 of 32 shots.

The Sabres scored just one even-strength goal in this one, something that has been hard to come by.

This game could have gone much differently without Hall’s penalty as that proved to be costly.

We’ll have to wait and see what the injury status of Ullmark is. Losing him for any period of time will be a huge blow. Hutton is a veteran goaltender but he has looked very shaky early on in this season and wasn’t spectacular last year either.

The Sabres will remain home before a pair of afternoon games against the Philadelphia Flyers this weekend. They’ll play at 1 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. After that, they’ll be heading to NYC to take on the New York Rangers followed by three against the New York Islanders.

Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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