This has been a frustrating season for Jack Eichel. Not because of what he’s done personally, but because of what’s happened around him.
In some ways, Friday’s game was the perfect representation of the Sabres’ season. Jack Eichel had a hat trick – the first of his career – and an assist to force an overtime period after Carolina took a 4-2 lead early in the third period. However, the Hurricanes still went on to win the game 5-4 and consequently Eichel’s efforts resulted in nothing more than a consolation point. Buffalo is now 8-18-7 despite Eichel scoring 11 goals and 28 points in 33 games this season.
He agreed to an eight-year, $80 million contract that will begin in 2018-19 and the burden on him due to that deal will be high. Even still, the Sabres need to build a respectable group around him. They don’t have that this season and consequently Eichel will often not be able to do enough to save them.
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CAROLINA 5 BUFFALO 4 (OT)
As mentioned above, Jack Eichel had a hat trick and an assist, but it still wasn’t enough for the Sabres to win on Friday. He’s up to 11 goals and 28 points in 33 games in 2017-18.
Jaccob Slavin scored the overtime winner and registered an assist. That gives him three goals and eight points in 31 contests.
Elias Lindholm also had a goal and an assist for Carolina. He has nine goals and 18 points in 31 games.
Cam Ward turned aside 37 of 41 Sabres shots. He’s 6-2-1 with a 3.06 GAA and .906 save percentage in 10 starts.
Chad Johnson saved 29 of 34 shots last night. He fell to 1-5-3 with a 3.76 GAA and .880 save percentage in 12 contests.
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NEW JERSEY 5 DALLAS 2
Brian Boyle led the charge with two goals and an assist. The Devils forward has eight markers and 11 points in 22 games this season.
Nick Lappin found the back of the net for New Jersey. It was his first goal in two games this season.
Cory Schneider started for the second time in as many days and saved 28 of 30 shots. He has a 13-6-4 record, 2.58 GAA, and .921 save percentage in 24 starts.
Martin Hanzal scored a goal for Dallas. It was his second marker and fourth point in 21 games.
Kari Lehtonen allowed four goals on 25 shots, ending his two-game winning streak. He has a 5-5-1 record, 2.59 GAA, and .907 save percentage in 13 contests.
NY RANGERS 4 LOS ANGELES 2
Marian Gaborik was playing in his 1,000th career game and made it a memorable one by scoring a goal and registering an assist. Unfortunately, the Kings couldn’t capitalize on his production last night.
Rick Nash netted the game-winning goal at 16:33 of the third period. He has nine goals and 17 points in 32 contests in 2017-18.
J.T. Miller also found the back of the net for the Rangers. It was his fifth goal and 23rd point in 32 games.
Jonathan Quick saved 24 of 27 shots last night. He has a 15-10-1 record, 2.33 GAA, and .924 save percentage in 26 starts.
Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 33 of 35 Kings' shots. He’s 15-8-2 with a 2.68 GAA and .917 save percentage in 27 starts this season.
DETROIT 3 TORONTO 1
Andreas Borgman scored the Maple Leafs’ lone goal. It was his third goal and eighth point in 32 contests.
Curtis McElhinney got the start for Toronto and allowed three goals on 29 shots. Two of the goals came in the second period when the Red Wings outshot the Maple Leafs 13-5.
Trevor Daley scored the game-winning goal. He has a goal and four points in 30 contests this season.
Henrik Zetterberg assisted on two of Detroit’s three markers. That gives him five goals and 20 points in 32 games.
Jimmy Howard saved 25 of 26 shots to end his three-game skid. He has a 10-9-6 record, 2.83 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 27 games.
VANCOUVER 4 SAN JOSE 3 (OT)
Brent Burns scored twice for the Sharks. He got off to a slow start this season, but he’s been red hot with eight points in his last five games.
Henrik Sedin assisted on three of the Canucks’ four markers. That gives him two goals and 22 points in 33 contests.
His twin brother, Daniel Sedin also registered three assists. He’s up to six goals and 21 points in 33 games.
Markus Granlund scored twice for Vancouver. He has six goals and eight points in 32 contests.
Jacob Markstrom kicked out 34 of 37 shots, making this the third straight start where he’s allowed at least three goals. He’s 9-10-3 with a 2.57 GAA and .912 save percentage in 23 games.
Martin Jones turned aside 36 of 40 Canucks shots. He has a 2.55 GAA and .914 save percentage in 22 starts.