Hustling Eichel helps Sabres top Blue Jackets
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Rookie star Jack Eichel's hustling unassisted goal gave Dan Bylsma an eye-catching highlight from his first victory as coach of the Buffalo Sabres.
"That will be one that we will pull out and watch again," Bylsma said after Buffalo beat Columbus 4-2 on Monday.
Eichel, the former Boston University player selected No. 2 overall in the June draft, bodied off Boone Jenner in a loose-puck battle, kept the puck in the offensive zone, wheeled to his forehand and ripped a shot over goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to give Buffalo a 3-1 lead at 9:21 of the third period.
"We've been harping a lot on back pressure in the middle, and Coach has been on me about working hard for the puck," Eichel said. "When I came off, he gave me a bump. That's what he likes to see, working back for the puck and getting rewarded."
Eichel has two goals this season.
•HAKSTOL GETS FIRST WIN: Former North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol won for the first time in three games as an NHL coach, when Michael Neuvirth's 31 saves led the Flyers to a 1-0 victory over the Panthers in Philadelphia. Brayden Schenn scored the game's only goal.
•FIRST 'W' IN BROOKLYN: John Tavares had a power-play goal and added two assists, Thomas Greiss made 22 saves and the Islanders beat the Jets 4-2 for their first victory of the season and the first in their new Brooklyn home.
•PROTEST AIMED AT STONER: A small group of protesters gathered outside Honda Center to call for the suspension of Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner, who faces charges in Canada of illegally obtaining a license to shoot a grizzly bear. Inside the arena, about 20 protesters held signs and shouted slogans condemning Stoner, a former Wild player. … Radim Vrbata and Alex Burrows scored in the shootout, and the Canucks spoiled the Ducks' home opener with a 2-1 victory.
•NOTES: Blues rookie Robby Fabbri is out indefinitely because of a concussion. … Sabres starting goalie Robin Lehner will miss between six and 10 weeks because a sprained right ankle. … Kings forward Dwight King (broken foot) will be sidelined for at least two months.