Casey Mittelstadt scored the decisive goal in the shootout Saturday afternoon to cap a frantic late comeback by the Buffalo Sabres, who stunned the visiting Vancouver Canucks with a 4-3 win.
The Sabres trailed 3-1 with less than three minutes left in regulation before Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart scored 40 seconds apart to force overtime.
Jack Eichel opened the shootout with a goal for the Sabres before Markus Granlund tied it for the Canucks by scoring on Vancouver’s second shot. Mittelstadt then scored and goalie Carter Hutton locked up the win by turning back an attempt by Nikolay Goldobin.
Nathan Beaulieu scored in the first period for the Sabres, who have won two straight and three of four. Hutton recorded 36 saves in regulation and overtime.
Loui Eriksson, Jake Virtanen and Erik Gudbranson scored within a span of a little more than five minutes bridging the second and third periods for the Canucks, who recorded a point for the sixth straight game (4-0-2). Goalie Jacob Markstrom made 34 saves.
The Sabres took the lead just 4:43 into the game, when Beaulieu, stationed to the left of Markstrom, took a pass from Kyle Okposo, who was atop the right faceoff circle, and poked the puck past Markstrom.
Eriksson tied the game with 1:44 left in the second, when he took a backhand pass from Granlund, who was behind the Sabres’ net. As Eriksson was falling, he fired a shot past Hutton.
The Canucks took the lead just 70 seconds later thanks to an impressive effort by Virtanen, who corralled a pass from Antoine Roussel just before the Vancouver blue line. Virtanen then skated up the left side of the ice and shuffled the puck before backhanding a shot through Hutton’s legs.
Gudbranson extended the lead to 3-1 at the 3:44 mark of the third, when his shot snaked through a gaggle of players in front of the net and under the glove of Hutton.
With Hutton pulled for an extra attacker, the Sabres pulled within 3-2 with 2:27 left when Reinhart, who was behind the Canucks’ net, fed Skinner, who beat Markstrom from point-blank range.
Reinhart then tied the game when he put back the rebound of a shot by Rasmus Ristolainen.
—Field Level Media