Buffalo Sabres: Will comeback win serve as a turning point?

EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 16: Sam Reinhart
EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 16: Sam Reinhart /

The Buffalo Sabres earned a dramatic 5-4 overtime win against the Boston Bruins, but will it prove to be the genesis for a successful season?

With five minutes remaining in the second period on Saturday night in Boston, the game was essentially over. The Buffalo Sabres were trailing 4-1 against the Bruins and they looked beaten.

Even when Jack Eichel scored to make it 4-2 before the end of the second, it didn’t figure to make much difference. The Sabres were well on their way to a sixth loss (eight including overtime) in just nine games.

However, then something magical happened; maybe it was Eichel’s goal, the second intermission, or an inspired speech by Phil Housley? Whatever it was, the Sabres come out like a team possessed for the final 20 minutes.

When Evander Kane tied the game with just over two minutes remaining, you got the sense there was only going to be one winner. And so it was, when Ryan O’Reilly sealed one of the most dramatic and desperately-needed wins in recent Sabres history, 2:59 into overtime.

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Whether the 5-4 overtime victory is enough to turn the Buffalo Sabres’ season around, remains to be seen. What we can say though, is if the manner of this win doesn’t galvanize them, nothing will.

That the winning goal came from O’Reilly, was prompted by him first becoming frustrated with himself. This was then followed by a fresh resolve to work harder on the ice and inspire his teammates, as a leader should do.

An elated and relieved Sabres’ assistant captain was asked about the comeback win afterwards, in the locker room. As reported by John Vogl of The Buffalo News, O’Reilly said:

"“It was a good effort by everyone, which was nice to see. We haven’t had enough of that. It’s got to start with the leadership group. We’ve got to be the engine there.”"

That O’Reilly was even in position to win the game wouldn’t have been possible without Kane’s goal late on in the third. We shouldn’t be surprised he scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season, given how fantastic he’s been.

It was also good to see Eichel step up. Despite being tied for the team lead with 11 overall points, something hasn’t been quite right with the face of the franchise.

However, it seems the soon to be 21-year-old’s goal served as a wake up call just as much for himself, as the rest of the team. Again reported by Vogl, Eichel said:

"It’s tough to win games in this league. If you want to win, you’ve really got to work hard. We need to use this game as an example of what it takes to win a hockey game."

Of course, as is often the case with the Buffalo Sabres, even the winning goal was met with a moment of angst. However, after what seemed like forever, the review for potential goalie interference ended with the officials confirming the goal was good.

It will be intriguing to see what effect the win has on the Sabres’ season. However, it’s worth noting they have now earned five points from a possible eight, so at least they’re trending in the right direction.

Overall, how the team responds to a dramatic Saturday night will tell us a lot about the belief of Housley and his players. Buffalo Sabres fans will be hoping their beloved franchise continues to display as much fight as they showed against the Bruins, otherwise the two points may as well be zero.

Next: Evander Kane needs to stick around long-term

Has the comeback win against the Bruins given you more confidence in the Buffalo Sabres moving forward? Or are you still concerned about how the rest of this season will play out? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.