Victor Olofsson scored two goals, and Jack Eichel had three points, as the Sabres got past the Blue Jackets Thursday night in overtime. Carter Hutton was in the net for Buffalo, stopping 28 shots to get the victory.
Columbus had some chances in the first few minutes of the opening period. Vladislav Gavrikov came sliding into the slot, but fired just a tad off the mark on one of his opportunities. Late in the first period, a nice Blue Jackets sequence to chip the puck up the ice developed into a 2-on-1 and a pretty Gavrikov feed to Nathan Gerbe for his fourth of the season.
Involved in the tumble at the end was Riley Nash, who, for those keeping score at home, can also lend an assist.
Here’s an interesting note on Gerbs.
Gerbe, who began his NHL career in Buffalo and played five seasons with the Sabres from 2008-13, has 2-1-3 in his last eight games vs. Buffalo. #CBJ— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) February 14, 2020
I was kind of thinking in between periods that if the Blue Jackets managed more than one goal in this game — to break a recent run of one goal in three of the last four games — they should just petition to only wear blue on the road.
Boone Jenner was able to tip home his 10th, deflecting Zach Werenski's shot. Liam Foudy (Foodie) earned his first career NHL point on an assist as well.
In the third period, Jack Eichel stormed down the ice and fired off a cannon of his own. There’s not much shame getting beat in your third career NHL start by a guy like Eichel in a career-year. (Tell’em Elpalito!). It’s Jack’s 32nd, while Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen picked up the assists.
As often is the case between these chippy rivals, it wasn't until the third period — one minute in — that Nick Foligno took a penalty for tripping, the first penalty for either side on the night.
This led to the tying goal on the power play for Victor Olofsson (17th) and both Eichel and Dahlin picked up second points on the night with assists.
Then things got heated — you thought I was kidding with rivalry this and chippy that? — when Eric Robinson enters your picture below, clipping Hutton.
That brought on some fireworks. Jake McCabe took his frustrations out on Robinson. And then the rest decided to join the fun.
This all led to a few penalties — Robinson, two minutes for interference, and McCabe, four minutes for crosschecking, also served by Kyle Okposo. But the Blue Jackets couldn’t do anything with their lone power play.
Evan Rodrigues continued the third period assault on the Blue Jackets with his fifth of the season on a wrist shot. Assists went to Jeff Skinner and the goaltender, Hutton.
But lo and behold, Markus Nutivaara came through with the clutch game-tying goal with 73 seconds left; Oliver Bjorkstrand’s feed was deflected, and Foligno got an assist.
We headed to overtime for another one-goal final decision. Unfortunately for Columbus, it was Buffalo winning their second-consecutive against Columbus in overtime. All three regular-season games were decided past regulation.
It was Olofsson, again, to cap this one off with Eichel completing his three-point night with the helper and Dahlin getting his second assist.
The Blue Jackets fall for the third-straight game, even though they now have points in 26 of the past 29 games. Matiss Kivlenieks made 23 saves for the Blue Jackets. They’ll look to right the ship tomorrow night at Nationwide Arena against the Rangers.
David Savard was in the lineup a day after welcoming a third child into the world on Wednesday. He rejoined the team Thursday, prior to the game. Cam Atkinson will miss 2-3 weeks with a sprained ankle. Columbus wore their blue sweaters while the Sabres wore their new-design whites. Zach Werenski led the Blue Jackets in ice-time (24:41), Gustav Nyquist led the Blue Jackets with five shots. Brandon Montour led the Sabres (23:05), while Jack Eichel also had five shots. Columbus is 14-0-6 against the Eastern Conference over the last 20 games. They’re 7-0-4 in last 11 games against the Atlantic, and 12-2-5 this season.
Pierre-Luc Dubois did not play the last 6:05 or in OT. He did not leave the bench, so it likely was a coach's decision.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 14, 2020