The Buffalo Sabres got off to an incredible 9-2-1 start, but those early successes were erased by a six-game losing streak that threatened to continue on Saturday. The slump might have been extended had Jack Eichel not taken matters into his own hands. He scored a career-high four goals on Saturday to lead the Sabres to a 4-2 victory against Ottawa.
That stopped the bleeding, but the damage is far from repaired. If the playoffs started today, Buffalo’s 10-6-3 record wouldn’t be good enough for entry. Not that it’s much of a silver lining, but the Sabres are still ahead of Toronto (9-9-4) and Tampa Bay (9-6-2) at this stage of the season. The Leafs and Lightning entered the campaign with significantly higher expectations than Buffalo, but neither team has been able to hit their stride. Both lost on Saturday and in the case of the Maple Leafs, they suffered a 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh en route to a fifth consecutive loss.
Their struggles have created a potential opening in the Atlantic Division, but Buffalo won’t have an unlimited amount of time to take advantage of it. There’s a strong chance that Toronto and especially Tampa Bay will eventually start to turn things around and Buffalo’s best bet is to build some breathing space from them before that happens. Of course, that’s only going to happen if the Sabres shake off their own struggles first.
Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Lineup Adviser, get our Weekly and Rest-of-Season rankings and projections, track all of your players and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!
CAROLINA 4 MINNESOTA 3 (OT)
Andrei Svechnikov scored the overtime winner. He has nine goals and 22 points in 20 contests.
Brock McGinn netted a goal for the Hurricanes. It was his second goal and fifth point in 20 games.
James Reimer stopped 32 of 35 shots on Saturday. Although he did get the win, this was the sixth straight start where he allowed at least three goals.
Luke Kunin found the back of the net for Minnesota. He has four goals and seven points in 19 contests.
Devan Dubnyk turned aside 24 of 28 Hurricanes shots. He has a 4-8-2 record, 3.36 GAA, and .893 save percentage in 14 contests.
LOS ANGELES 4 LAS VEGAS 3
Max Pacioretty scored a goal and registered an assist for Vegas. He’s up to seven goals and 18 points in 21 contests.
On the Kings side, Drew Doughty also had a goal and an assist. That gives him five goals and 13 points in 20 games.
Jeff Carter netted the game-winning goal. It was his sixth goal and eighth point in 20 games.
At the other end of the ice, Malcolm Subban stopped 21 of 25 shots. He has a 0-3-2 record, 3.42 GAA, and .888 save percentage in five starts.
DALLAS 5 EDMONTON 4 (OT)
Leon Draisaitl scored a goal and registered an assist for the Oilers. He already has 16 goals and 43 points in 22 contests.
Tyler Seguin scored a goal and recorded two assists. The Stars forward has five goals and 16 points in 21 games.
Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist for Dallas. He’s up to two goals and nine points in 21 contests.
Mikko Koskinen turned aside 31 of 36 shots on Saturday. He has a 7-1-2 record, 2.42 GAA, and .921 save percentage in 11 games.
ARIZONA 3 CALGARY 0
Darcy Kuemper stopped 37 shots to earn the shutout. He improved to 9-5-0 with a 1.85 GAA and .937 save percentage in 14 starts.
Rasmus Andersson fired a team-high six shots against Kuemper. He has two goals on 45 shots this season.
Lawson Crouse scored a goal and registered an assist. That gives him four goals and seven points in 20 games.
Derek Stepan netted the game-winning goal. It was his third goal and seventh point in 21 contests.
David Rittich saved 21 of 23 shots last night. He’s 9-5-3 with a 2.71 GAA and .914 save percentage in 17 starts.
WINNIPEG 4 TAMPA BAY 3
Steven Stamkos scored a goal and registered an assist. The goal was the 400th of his career.
Anthony Cirelli also had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. That gives him two goals and nine points in 16 games.
Andrei Vasilevskiy kicked out 23 of 26 shots. He has a 7-5-0 record, 3.02 GAA, and .901 save percentage in 12 starts.
Kyle Connor netted the game-winning goal and recorded an assist. He has seven goals and 16 points in 21 games.
Blake Wheeler assisted on two of the Jets’ four goals. He’s up to five goals and 12 points in 21 games.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 31 of 34 shots last night. He has a 9-6-1 record, 2.44 GAA, and .927 save percentage in 16 starts.
WASHINGTON 3 BOSTON 2 (SO)
Braden Holtby stopped 21 of 23 shots in regulation time. He surrendered just one goal in five shootout rounds to collect the extra point.
At the other end of the ice, Jaroslav Halak saved 42 of 44 shots. Despite that strong start, he got the loss because he fell short in the shootout.
Charlie Coyle scored a goal for the Bruins. It was his fourth goal and 10th point in 20 games.
T.J. Oshie found the back of the net in the third period. The Capitals forward has 10 goals and 15 points in 22 games.
Travis Boyd also had a goal for Washington. He has a goal and five points in seven contests.
BUFFALO 4 OTTAWA 2
Jack Eichel carried the Sabres by scoring all four goals. He has 12 goals and 23 points in 19 contests.
Sam Reinhart assisted on two of four Sabres goals. He has eight goals and 17 points in 19 games.
Linus Ullmark turned aside 21 of 23 Senators shots. He has a 4-3-1 record, 2.98 GAA, and .915 save percentage in eight starts.
Tyler Ennis scored a goal for the Senators. He has spent most of his career to date with Buffalo, although he hasn’t played for them since 2017.
Craig Anderson kicked out 28 of 31 Sabres shots. He has a 3-7-0 record, 3.31 GAA, and .894 save percentage in 12 contests.
NEW JERSEY 4 MONTREAL 3 (OT)
Nico Hischier scored a goal and registered an assist. That gives him three goals and 10 points in 17 games.
Kyle Palmieri netted the overtime winner. It was his seventh goal and 12th point in 19 contests.
Cale Fleury found the back of the net for Montreal. That was the 20-year-old rookie’s first career goal and point.
Keith Kinkaid stopped 39 of 43 Devils shots. He’s allowed at least four goals in all four of his starts this season.
Mackenzie Blackwood saved 31 of 34 shots last night. He has a 7-4-3 record, 2.79 GAA, and .904 save percentage in 14 games.
FLORIDA 4 NY RANGERS 3
Ryan Strome scored a goal and recorded an assist. That gives the Rangers forward six goals and 18 points in 18 games.
Evgenii Dadonov netted a pair of goals for the Panthers. He has 10 goals and 18 points in 20 contests.
Jonathan Huberdeau assisted on three of Florida’s four goals. He’s up to nine goals and 27 points in 20 games.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 of 33 Rangers shots. He improved to 7-4-4 with a 3.53 GAA and .882 save percentage in 17 contests.
Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 26 of 30 shots Saturday night. He’s surrendered 13 goals over his last three games.
NY ISLANDERS 4 PHILADELPHIA 3 (SO)
Thomas Greiss stopped 28 of 31 shots in regulation time. He was then perfect in two shootout rounds to get the win.
Brian Elliott saved 33 of 36 shots before the skills competition. The Islanders beat him in both of their shootout attempts.
Anthony Beauvillier scored a pair of goals for the Islanders. He has six goals and 12 points in 18 games.
Derick Brassard had a pair of assists for New York. That gives him six goals and 13 points in 18 contests.
Sean Couturier scored a goal and registered an assist. The Flyers forward has six goals and 15 points in 20 games.
PITTSBURGH 6 TORONTO 1
Kasimir Kaskisuo made his NHL debut and the Leafs made it a rough night for him. He had to face 19 shots in the first period alone. Kaskisuo went on to allow six goals on 38 shots.
Toronto’s lone goal was scored by Jason Spezza. It was his second goal and fifth point in 12 games.
Dominik Kahun scored two goals and registered an assist. He’s up to five goals and 10 points in 19 contests.
Bryan Rust contributed a goal and two assists for the Penguins. That gives him six goals and 10 points in nine games.
Tristan Jarry turned aside 32 of 33 shots Saturday night. He’s 2-3-0 with a 1.99 GAA and .938 save percentage in five contests.
ANAHEIM 4 ST. LOUIS 1
Derek Grant led the charge with a hat trick. He’s up to five goals and eight points in 21 contests.
Vince Dunn scored the Blues’ only goal. It was his third goal and sixth point in 21 games.
Ryan Getzlaf scored a goal and registered an assist for Anaheim. He has eight goals and 14 points in 21 games.
John Gibson stopped 37 of 38 Blues shots. He’s 7-9-0 with a 2.83 GAA and .915 save percentage in 16 starts.
Jordan Binnington kicked out 21 of 24 shots last night. He has a 9-3-4 record, 2.40 GAA, and .919 save percentage in 16 starts.
CHICAGO 7 NASHVILLE 2
Despite scoring seven goals, Alex Nylander was the only Blackhawks player with a multi-goal night. He’s up to four goals and nine points in 18 games.
Patrick Kane scored a goal and registered an assist for Chicago. That gives him 10 goals and 25 points in 19 games.
Robin Lehner stopped 39 of 41 shots on Saturday. He’s had to face a staggering 98 shots over his last two starts, but both have been wins for Chicago.
Both of Chicago’s goals were scored by Roman Josi. He has seven goals and 20 points in 19 games this season.
COLORADO 5 VANCOUVER 4 (OT)
Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals, including the game-winner, and registered an assist. He has 13 goals and 29 points in 20 games this season.
Cale Makar assisted on four of the Avalanche’s five goals. He’s up to five goals and 22 points in 20 games.
Adam Gaudette scored a pair of markers for Vancouver. He has four goals and eight points in 11 contests.
Thatcher Demko stopped 18 of 23 shots Saturday night. He’s surrendered 11 goals over his last three starts.
Antoine Bibeau turned aside 28 of 32 Canucks shots. He has a 1-0-0 record, 3.26 GAA, and .881 save percentage in two contests.
SAN JOSE 4 DETROIT 3 (SO)
Andreas Athanasiou scored a pair of goals for the Red Wings. He has five goals and 11 points in 20 games.
Kevin Labanc found the back of the net and registered two assists. That gives him six goals and 12 points in 21 contests.
Logan Couture assisted on all three of San Jose’s non-shootout goals. He has three goals and 21 points in 21 games.
Martin Jones stopped 25 of 28 shots before the shootout. With his efforts in the subsequent skills competition, his winning streak has been extended to six games.
Jimmy Howard kicked out 16 of 19 shots in regulation time. He was beaten once in two shootout rounds and ultimately missed out on the extra point.