The Buzzer: Sizzling Sabres; Devils can’t beat Hart

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Three Stars

1. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo is off to a hot start, and to little surprise, Eichel is leading the way.

You know that a player is explosive when he can begin the season with seven points in four games despite going pointless in two of those contests. Wednesday represented Eichel’s best work of 2019-20 yet, as he generated two goals and two assists.

Eichel is a driving force of a hot Sabres power play that went 2-for-5 against the Canadiens, and Eichel assisted on a Marcus Johansson OT game-winner that happened soon after a penalty expired.

Eichel had quite the peripheral output, too, getting those two goals on eight SOG.

2. J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks

Considering the absolute beating Vancouver handed Los Angeles, it’s not surprising that an 8-2 game produce a top Vancouver performance. Canucks GM Jim Benning must feel great about seeing Miller have a one-goal, three-assist performance during the home-opener.

Time will tell if Miller was worth the first-rounder the Canucks will give up for him – either in 2020 or 2021 – but he’s nights like Wednesday serve as an argument that Miller is the type of top-six forward Vancouver sorely needed.

3. Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers

For the first time in a career the Flyers are pinning a lot of hopes on, Hart achieved an NHL shutout.

While he didn’t need to make an enormous number of stops – finishing Wednesday with 25 – there were some that were absolutely of a high degree of difficulty. The one that will live on the longest came during a 5-on-3 power play, as he absolutely robbed Taylor Hall, which brings us to …

Highlight of the Night

How could it be anything other than Hart robbing Hall? More on that here, but enjoy the save again below:

Blooper of the Night:

Ouch, Kyle Palmieri.

Burn of the Night

Flyers have little chill, as the Devils found out.

Factoids

  • At 21 years and 57 days old, Hart became the youngest goalie in Flyers history to get a shutout, via NHL PR.
  • From NHL PR: the Canucks tied their most goals for a home opener with eight, and Miller’s four points ties Alexander Mogilny, Tony Tanti, and Greg Adams for the most in a home opener.
  • Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson scored his sixth NHL goal on Wednesday, and so far, all of them have come on the power play. Olofsson ranks among four players to start their careers that way, according to Statscentre.
  • The Canucks faced the Kings for their first regular-season game 49 years ago. In that case, it went Los Angeles’ way, as the Kings won 3-1.

Scores

BUF 5 – MTL 4 (OT)
PHI 4 – NJD 0
VAN 8 – LAK 2

MORE:
• Pro Hockey Talk’s Stanley Cup picks.
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.