Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist in his season debut as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Ryan O'Reilly scored twice for Buffalo (8-9-5), while Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart also scored. Robin Lehner, who allowed one goal on six shots, started the game, but left at 17:48 of the first. Anders Nilsson allowed three goals on 29 shots.
Mike Hoffman had three goals and an assist for the Senators (14-8-1), while Mark Stone, playing his 200th NHL game, also scored. Craig Anderson, making his sixth straight start, made 23 saves.
Eichel had missed the first 21 games of the Sabres' season after he sprained his left ankle ahead of their season opener O'Reilly gave Buffalo a 5-3 lead with a power-play goal late in the third.
The Senators made it 5-4 on Hoffman's power-play goal with 1:31 remaining but were unable to score the equalizer to the disappointment of the 14,259 on hand at Canadian Tire Centre.
Trailing 3-1 Stone, who now has five goals, four assists in his last eight games, easily scored a power-play goal at 8:20 of the second as no one was aware where the puck was.
The Sabres regained their two-goal lead as Evander Kane's shot deflected past Anderson off Reinhart's skate, but Ottawa cut the lead yet again as Hoffman, with his second of the night, tipped Erik Karlsson's shot.
Buffalo opened the scoring with a power-play goal as Ottawa's Cody Ceci tried to tie up Reinhart in front of the net, but instead had Okposo's shot go in off his skate. Eichel scored his first, on the power play, three minutes later.
The Senators cut the lead in half as Hoffman buried Mark Borowiecki's rebound, but the Sabres replied 31 seconds later as O'Reilly came into the slot and scored off his backhand.
By the end of the game the Senators were without Bobby Ryan, who aggravated a hand injury early in the second and Marc Methot who suffered a lower body injury late in the second.