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5 Observations: Sabres stun Sharks in OT 5-4

5 Observations: Sabres stun Sharks in OT 5-4
Posted at 11:15 PM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 23:15:59-05

Heading into tonight's matchup the Buffalo Sabres had a 16-1-1 record at home against the San Jose Sharks. Things really didn't look good for the Sabres in the third period trailing 4-1, but then, just like a Randy Orton RKO, the Sabres came "outta nowhere" and scored three goals in 3:28 to tie things at four.

The game went into overtime and Evander Kane sealed the win with a pretty two-one-goal, knocking off the Sharks 5-4.

Five observations from Tuesday's win:

The comeback

It's amazing what some momentum and shots on net can do. Full disclosure, I tweeted "That'll do it" after the Sharks scored their fourth goal, but boy was I wrong.

The comeback started with a gorgeous pass from Jack Eichel to Ryan O'Reilly, who was sitting basically uncovered in front of the net on Buffalo's second power play of the evening. Often I think the Sabres try to be too cute with the man advantage, but it paid off here.

Two and a half minutes later Evander Kane scored his 15th goal of the season on a wrap around just as another Sabres power play expired. It was a nice move by Cody Franson to wait things out at the point and swing the puck around the boards and behind the net.

But just like DJ Khaled says, the Sabres added "another one" to tie things at four less than a minute later. Reinhart led the Sabres down the ice on a three-on-two odd man rush and threw a perfect cross-ice pass to Kyle Okposo, who beat Sharks goaltender Martin Jones.

The winner came off the stick of Evander Kane for his second goal of the evening (16th total) on another odd-man rush. Eichel sauced a beautiful pass to Kane who roofed the puck from in close to cap off the evening.

There aren't words to really describe what happened. Three goals in 3:28 usually opens if you're playing EA Sports 'NHL 17' on rookie.

Fun fact, the Sabres are 14-0 when they score four or more goals. 

Another stellar second period

Not to sound like a broken record, but the Sabres had another atrocious second period on Tuesday evening. It started with what felt like was never ending zone pressure from the Sharks before they drew a penalty.

Buffalo actually killed off the aforementioned penalty, but couldn’t respond with any pressure of their own. Their only real chance in the period came on an odd-man rush with Jack Eichel streaking to the net, but the Sabres couldn’t finish the play.

Defenders who can score — that’s a novel idea

When is the last time you saw a bar graph?

This season the Sabres blue-liners have combined for 77 points. Sharks defenseman Brent Burns has 57 by himself. That’s outrageous.

Living on the east coast I rarely get to watch Burns play, but boy is he a treat. It seems like every shot he takes from the point gets through traffic and creates a scoring chance. That was the case with the Sharks first goal of the evening when Burns shot was redirected by Joel Ward past Sabres goaltender Anders Nilsson. In the third period, he dished a perfect pass to Joe Pavelski, who clapped a one-timer past Nilsson to make it 4-1.

It is amazing how much offense the Sharks generate from Brent Burns. Ristolainen is the best the Sabres have, but in the offseason, they need to address the blue line. Nine goals combined in 53 games from defensemen is unacceptable.

Ennis the menace

Don’t look now, but Tyler Ennis has scored a point in four straight games. Ennis has struggled since his triumphant return last month but he is starting to contribute offensively.

He isn’t logging much ice time and has spent most of his time on the Sabres ‘fourth’ line, but he adds some much-needed playmaking ability to the Sabres second power play unit. 

On Tuesday he played a much better game and starting see the ice more and more as the game progressed. 

Moulson matches mark 

Last year it took Matt Moulson 81 games to score 21 points. On Tuesday Moulson matched that mark 53 games into the season with his 11th goal of the campaign.

Moulson has certainly cooled down and is playing far less than he did at the beginning of the season, but he’s far ahead of where he was last year. Assuming he doesn’t have a collapse down the stretch, he’ll likely flirt with 30 points.