BUFFALO, N.Y. — Jack Eichel capped a two-goal, two-assist game by scoring 3:13 into overtime to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
The Eastern Conference-leading Sabres overcame a 2-0 first-period deficit and responded after San Jose’s Erik Karlsson tied the game with 8:33 remaining in regulation.
Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart also scored for the Sabres, who improved to 8-1-1 and matched their second-best start to a season previously set twice. Carter Hutton stopped 25 shots and the Sabres completed a home-and-home sweep of the Sharks following a 4-3 win at San Jose on Saturday.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Dylan Gambrell also scored for the Sharks who at 3-5-1 matched their worst start since 2005-06. Martin Jones stopped 25 shots, and had little chance on Eichel’s decisive goal.
With the Sharks caught making a line change, Buffalo’s Casey Mittelstadt fed Rasmus Ristolainen up the left boards to set up a two-on-one break.
Jones stopped Ristolainen’s initial shot, but was unable to control the rebound. Eichel crashed the net from the right and jammed in the loose puck.
The goal was allowed to stand after a video review showed there was no goaltender interference.
The Sabres, who opened 8-1-1 in both 1975-76 and 2009-10, are also off to a 5-0 start at home, one short of the team record set in 1975-76.
The Sharks opened by scoring the first two goals, before the Sabres rallied back to take a 3-2 lead on Skinner’s goal 45 seconds into the third period. Eichel set up the goal by out-muscling Vlasic behind the net.
Karlsson tied the game with 8:33 left by taking advantage of a Sabres defensive collapse. Drawing the attention of Buffalo’s defenders at the left boards, Patrick Marleau set up Karlsson driving in alone from the right point. Karlsson then sneaked in a shot beating Hutton through the legs.
Hutton was coming off consecutive shutouts before giving up his first goal on San Jose’s third shot, 5:46 in when Gambrell deflected in Karlsson’s wrister from the right point.
Vlasic’s goal was his 68th tying Dan Boyle for second on the franchise list among Sharks defencemen. … Hutton’s shutout streak finished at 134 minutes and 22 seconds, beating his previous career high by 3 1/2 minutes. … This marks just third time Sabres have played home-and-home series against Western Conference opponent, and first since 1996, when Toronto was in the West. … For Sharks, this is their fourth home-at-home against East opponent, including two-game series against Columbus in Sweden in 2010.
Sharks: Continue five-game road swing at Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
Sabres: At New York Rangers on Thursday.
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John Wawrow, The Associated Press