Jack Eichel scored his first goal of the season to break a tie game and the Buffalo Sabres handed the visiting New York Rangers their fourth straight defeat with a 3-2 win on Tuesday night.
With the game knotted 2-2 near the midway point of the second period, Eichel finally scored in 2021. Coming off a personal-best 36-goal campaign in 2020 but mired in the longest scoring drought to open a season in his six-year career, Eichel drove a one-timer in the slot off a pass from Victor Olofsson with 12:29 to go in the middle frame to give Buffalo a lead it would not give up.
Rookie Dylan Cozens and Tobias Rieder each scored their second goals of the season for the Sabres, who have posted two straight victories after winning just once in their first five games.
The one-win Rangers, meanwhile, have lost their last four all by one goal.
Chris Kreider scored his second of the season and rookie K’Andre Miller recorded the first goal of his NHL career for New York, which went 0-for-3 on the power play — including a 6-on-4 opportunity to end the game.
New York opened the scoring 6:28 into the game. Off a Buffalo turnover, Pavel Buchnevich shuffled a pass from behind the Sabres’ net to a streaking Kreider in the slot, who then beat Linus Ullmark (28 saves).
Buffalo answered, however, on the power play.
On a pass from Eric Staal, Cozens one-timed his shot into the left corner of the Rangers’ net to make it 1-1 with 7:10 left in the opening period. The Rangers took the lead back in the final seconds of the period when Miller, in his sixth NHL game, blasted the puck past Ullmark with 6.1 seconds remaining in the first for a 2-1 edge.
The Sabres leveled the score a little over six minutes into the second just as a New York power play was ending. On a Buffalo clear along the boards, Rieder outskated the pack, picked up the puck and skated in alone before beating a sprawling Alexandar Georgiev (21 saves).
These teams will meet again Thursday at Buffalo.
–Field Level Media