For those waiting on when prospect Jack Eichel will make an immediate impact on the Buffalo Sabres team, you didn’t have to wait long.
In his first career NHL game, the first Sabres game of the 2015-16 season, Jack Eichel scored a beautiful goal from the top of the right faceoff circle, beating Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. The shot couldn’t have looked prettier. Watch as Jack Eichel notches first career NHL goal.
The goal, which came near the midway mark of the third period, was also the first goal of the Sabres new season. Down 2-0, Eichel fired a rocket of a shot over the shoulder of Anderson, and ignited the Buffalo crowd into a frenzy of cheers.
“It was a pretty special moment for me,” Eichel said, in a post-game scrum. “Today was my Dad’s birthday. I have a lot of family in town, so it was a special moment for me to score my first one today. A win definitely would have capped it off, but you can’t have everything.”
The Sabres would later tie up the game, but Senators head coach Dave Cameron would utilize his coach’s challenge and have the goal reversed.
Curtis Lazar would score into an empty net to secure the victory. Kyle Turris finished the game with two goals, while Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone both notched two assists each.
In more troubling Sabres news, goaltender Robin Lehner was forced to leave the season opener during the second period with what appeared to be a lower-body injury. At the 7:30 mark in the second period, Lehner had some difficulty getting up after stopping a Mark Stone shot. He skated off the ice, appearing to favor his left leg, and was helped to the bench by one of the trainers.
“It’s more than day-to-day at this time,” said Dan Bylsma, who made his coaching debut with the Sabres. “But there is further evaluation that is needed.”