Jack Eichel really didn’t take losing in his return to Buffalo too well

jack eichel buffalo
Mar 10, 2022; Buffalo, New York, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) goes after a loose puck during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Eichel came into Thursday’s matchup against his former team saying he wasn’t bitter. The 25 year-old center, who has 7 points in 11 games after being out for a year waiting on a trade to get his preferred neck surgery, was blanked.

The Vegas Golden Knights lost the game by a score of 3-1, which was tough for Eichel to deal with. However, he was booed incessantly when he touched the puck and during his “Thank You” video.

“It’s about the loudest I’ve heard this place. It only took 7 years after me leaving for (the Sabres fans) to get into the game,” Eichel quipped. “There was plenty of people here who were supporting me, and plenty of people who were booing. They must be booing because they wish I was still here. I don’t know. It is what it is. I’m not the first guy to deal with it. So just move on, and yeah, it was a tough game. Give them credit, they played hard.”

Yup…no bitterness to be found here.

Jack Eichel didn’t taking losing well

jack eichel
Mar 10, 2022; Buffalo, New York, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) before a face-off during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Craig Anderson made 30 saves to become the sixth American goaltender to win 300 NHL games and also helped to spoil Jack Eichel’s much-anticipated return to Buffalo as the Sabres defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 on Thursday night.

Anderson also became the 39th goalie in NHL history to hit the 300-win mark.

Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch, both obtained from Vegas in the trade for Eichel on Nov. 4, each scored a goal, and Victor Olofsson scored what proved to be the game-winner on a power play with 3:44 remaining as Buffalo snapped a two-game losing streak.

Ben Hutton scored a goal, and Laurent Brossoit stopped 21 of 23 shots for the sputtering Golden Knights, who suffered their second straight loss. Vegas has just 24 goals over its past 12 games, including just four in its past three games.

It was the first game back in Buffalo for Eichel, the No. 2 pick of 2015 NHL Entry Draft behind Connor McDavid. The former Sabres captain, traded to the Golden Knights after a dispute with the team about what kind of neck surgery he should have to repair a spinal disc herniation, was booed each time he touched the puck, but mostly was cheered when a video tribute was shown during a first-period TV break.

“I think it was something that I was looking forward to getting behind me,” Eichel said. “I’d spoken to a lot of guys that had played and went back to places, and they all said how tough it was their first time going back. It’s tough. It’s emotional. It’s not easy by any means… “I did appreciate the tribute (video) though.”

–Field Level Media contributed to this report