Sabres spoil Eichel’s return to Buffalo

Sabres spoil Eichel’s return to Buffalo

Sabres spoil Eichel’s return to Buffalo. Craig Anderson blocked 30 shots to claim his 300th career victory and Buffalo defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 in a match in which former Sabres hero Jack Eichel was heavily booed Thursday evening in his first return to his former home.

Victor Olofsson scored the go-ahead goal on the penalty play with 3:44 left.

And firing up Sabres supporters, even more, was Buffalo’s initial goal being scored by Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch capping the game by scoring into an empty net with 36 seconds remaining. Both players were acquired in the transaction that sent Eichel to Vegas on Nov. 4.

Buffalo halted a two-game – Sabres spoil Eichel’s return to Buffalo

Buffalo halted a two-game slide and won for just the third time in nine games, with Anderson becoming the 39th goalkeeper to reach 300 victories. From Illinois, he became the sixth U.S.A. goalkeeper to accomplish the milestone and is one behind legendary New York Rangers standout Mike Richter.

Anderson’s biggest stop came five minutes into the third period when he retained his position to block Zach Whitecloud’s deflection in front. The 19-year veteran also got his glove down to deny William Carrier set up alone in the slot 12 minutes into the second period.

Laurent Brossoit stopped 21 shots for Vegas in receiving the start in lieu of Robin Lehner, who was sent home to have a lower-body issue investigated further. Vegas has lost two straight and fell to 4-7-1 in its previous 12.

Krebs scored 7:53 into the match when he went up the right-wing and redirected Vinnie Hinostroza’s cross-ice pass past Brossoit.

Eichel was limited

Eichel was limited to two attempts on goal in a game he was hounded by boos each time he went on the ice. It was the 25-year-old’s initial game in Buffalo since February 28 of 2021, which occurred eight days before he was suffering a herniated disk in a 5-2 loss on Long Island.

How to handle the injury — the Sabres advocated fusion surgery while Eichel desired an artificial disk replacement technique — led to an eight-month deadlock between the player and the Sabres, which finally forced his departure. The game against Buffalo was Eichel’s 11th after having the replacement operation shortly after landing in Vegas.

Eichel’s appearance brought what looked to be the greatest crowd of the season in Buffalo with an attendance of 12, 437.

Olofsson scored with 17 seconds remaining in Jonathan Marchessault’s slashing penalty. Set up in the left circle by Kyle Okposo’s feed across the centre, Olofsson blasted a shot to beat Brossoit high on the short side.

Krebs opened the scoring

Krebs opened the scoring by tipping in Vinnie Hinostroza’s cross-ice pass 7:53 into the game, and less than a minute after the Sabres aired a video welcoming back Eichel. The audience booed as the video of Eichel’s scoring highlights began, but then cheered when officials from Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Center congratulated Eichel for his charity donations.

Hutton knotted it at 1 with 7:59 remaining in regulation when his snapshot from the right point sailed through a throng and rebounded in off the crossbar.

Once considered the Sabres’ saviour after being taken with the second selection in the 2015 draft, Eichel was welcomed with disdain following a six-year career during which Buffalo failed to make the playoffs.

Eichel was booed loudly. It began during the pre-game warm-ups when he was booed while being the last player off the ice. It continued when he was named in the starting lineup. And it reached a thundering crescendo as Eichel lined up for the opening faceoff, and the boos escalated to jeers when he gave over the puck in the neutral zone. After all, Sabres spoil Eichel has returned to Buffalo.

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