Jack Eichel scored two goals and Carter Hutton had 35 saves to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-2 victory over the visiting Vegas Golden Knights on Monday afternoon.
It was the second straight win for Buffalo (2-1-0, 4) who also defeated the Golden Knights (1-2-0, 2) for the first time in franchise history after losing both meetings during Vegas’ expansion season. Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville also scored goals for the Sabres and Kyle Okposo added a pair of assists.
Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and an assist and Erik Haula, who scored the game-winner in a 2-1 shootout win at Minnesota on Saturday night, also scored a goal for Vegas. The defending Western Conference champions started 8-1-0 in their inaugural season en route to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and didn’t suffer their second loss until Oct. 30.
Marc-Andre Fleury had 13 saves for the Golden Knights who continue their five-game eastern road trip on Wednesday night at Washington in a rematch of the Stanley Cup Final won by the Capitals, 4-1.
Eichel gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at the 14:31 mark of the first period when he blistered a one-timer from the top of the left circle off a pass from Rasmus Ristolainen.
Vegas outshot the Sabres, 14-5, in the second period including 8-0 in the first 4½ minutes but Buffalo, taking advantage of a couple of defensive breakdowns by the Golden Knights, scored on its first three shots to take 4-1 lead.
A wide-open Eichel started a spurt that saw four goals scored in the span of 4:45 with his third goal and Buffalo’s first even-strength goal of the season, backhanding a shot from the slot in the front of the net off a pass from Sam Reinhart.
Vegas cut it to 2-1 when Haula flipped a shot from in front of the right boards through traffic and under Hutton’s right arm. But Buffalo came right back 27 seconds later to make it 3-1 when Scandella’s wrist shot from the left point hit William Karlsson in the slot and fluttered past Fleury and under the crossbar.
Pominville, left alone in the slot near the crease, upped the lead to 4-1 with a one-timer off a pass from the right corner from Evan Rodrigues. Marchessault cut it to 4-2 with 9:13 to go when a puck caromed off the boards to the Vegas center in the high slot where he fired a wrist shot into the right corner of the net.
The Golden Knights pulled Fleury with 1:51 left and Hutton came up with four key saves down the stretch. Eichel just missed the empty net and his second career hat trick with a long shot before the final buzzer.
—Field Level Media