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5 Observations: Sabres stun Penguins in OT, win sixth straight

Posted: 10:11 PM, Nov 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-20 03:52:19Z

With their exhilarating 5-4 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Buffalo Sabres have now won six straight games -- their longest winning streak since the 2009-2010 season. Jack Eichel scored the game-winner in overtime, firing a wrist shot past Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith. Tage Thompson, Zach Bogosian, Casey Nelson, and Casey Mittelstadt also scored for the Sabres, who improve to 13-6-2 on the season. 

5 Observations from Monday's win:

Cardiac kids

There is something special about this team. For the third time in four nights, the Sabres found a way to win, despite trailing after 40 minutes. This time, it was Jack Eichel who sealed the win for the Sabres, scoring the overtime winner. 

"It's resiliency," Eichel said to Rob Ray on the Sabres broadcast after the game. "We just found a way to win."

If the first 21 games of the season have taught us anything it's pretty simple -- this team never gives up. I know it's such a cliché but it's true. They never appear to be out of a game. Monday was the perfect example. 

Jack Attack

"It's been a while since I scored so it feels good," Eichel told Ray after the game. 

When they needed him most, the Sabres captain stepped up. Eichel's goal snapped a nine-game scoreless streak and will likely lead to an offensive explosion in the near future. Eichel now has 24 points in 21 games. 

Rookie Mistakes 

Rasmus Dahlin followed up arguably his best game as a pro with likely his worst. Dahlin got caught standing still on the Penguins first goal of the evening as Derrick Brassard flew past the rookie. Minutes later, Kessel was the guy flying by Dahlin to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead. 

In the second period, the struggles for Dahlin continued. Less than two minutes into the middle frame, Dahlin stood helpless as Jake Guentzel banged home a rebound on a goal where a blatant tripping penalty was avoided. Three minutes later, Tanner Pearson scored his first goal as a Penguin, outmuscling Dahlin in front of Hutton to jam home a rebound. 

If you're following along at home, that means Dahlin was on the ice for each of the Penguins four goals. Plus/Minus is an incredibly flawed stat. But on Monday, Dahlin really struggled in the first two periods. With an 18-year-old rookie, mistakes will happen. What matters most is that Dahlin learns from them and gets better because of them. I like his chances. 
 

Huge Night for Hutton

If you just looked at the box score it might not appear that Carter Hutton had a strong outing against the Penguins. Despite allowing four goals, Hutton was arguably the Sabres best player. His biggest save of the night came against Phil Kessel when Hutton sprawled across the crease to turn away what looked like an easy goal. 

Early on, Hutton bailed the Sabres out plenty of sticky situations. If it weren't for the Sabres netminder, the game would've got away from the Sabres even sooner. In the third period, Hutton stood on his head and turned away multiple stellar scoring chances from the Penguins. With the win, Hutton improves to 3-0 in his career against the Penguins. 

Defense creating offense 

With Casey Nelson's goal in the second period, every Sabres defenseman has now scored this season. Zach Bogosian also tallied his second goal of the campaign, blasting a slap shot past DeSmith. In 21 games, the Sabres defenders have combined for 12 goals. When you consider the lack of production from the blue line last season, this is an outstanding sign for the Sabres moving forward.  

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