Eic-Hel No! Rangers Done In By Returning Sabres Superstar

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The New York Rangers have had to deal with many stars of the NHL in the early portions of their schedule, including Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.

They apparently forgot all about Jack Eichel.

The young Buffalo superstar, selected second overall in last year’s draft, scored the game tying and game winning goals less than two minutes apart, and the Rangers lost a 3-2 third period lead to the Sabres, falling 4-3 at KeyBank Center.

It was the second game back for Eichel, who missed the 21 games of the Sabres’ season with an injury suffered in training camp. He already has four points in just two games, including three goals after last night’s heroics.

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 01: Buffalo Sabres Center Jack Eichel (15) is congratulated on his goal by Sabres teammates during the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres NHL game on December 1, 2016, at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. (Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jack Eichel, above, now has three goals in two games since providing heroics over the Rangers last night (Photo: Getty)

Eichel’s putting the rest of the league on notices was part of an overall sour night in Buffalo for the Rangers, who got off to a rough start. Henrik Lundqvist allowed in perhaps the most brutal goal of his career, as a dump attempt by Johan Larsson went into the net for a goal just 18 seconds into the game. The Rangers (16-8-1) would manage to knot things up before the end of the period with a power play goal by┬áRyan McDonagh, who finally tallied his first goal of the season.

The rest of the game was a story of blown leads despite the Rangers’ talent

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 01: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second period goal against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game at the KeyBank Center on December 1, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Marc Staal celebrates his second goal of the season, which temporarily gave the Rangers the lead (Photo: Getty)

contributing. Rick Nash put in his 11th score of the season with another power play goal, but that 2-1 lead lasted just 93 seconds before a former Devil haunted the Rangers in the form of Brian Gionta, who scored his fifth. The Rangers ended the period with a 3-2 lead after a score from Marc Staal, but it only set up Eichel’s heroics.

While Adam Clendening was in the penalty box, Eichel put in the first tally, and capped it off with the go-ahead goal. Outshot 12-5 in the final frame, the Rangers could not muster the comeback effort necessary, dropping their second in a row to the Sabres (9-9-5).

The Rangers will look to right their ship with their second meeting in three games with the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon (1:00, MSG)

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

 

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