Ruotsalainen scores first NHL goal, Sabres rally to 5-3 win


Buffalo Sabres’ Arttu Ruotsalainen, center, celebrates his goal with Dylan Cozens (24), Henri Jokiharju (10), and Rasmus Dahlin (26) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen made his NHL debut earlier this week, and already has his first goal. The forward put one in the back of the net in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers. That goal tied the game at the time and helped the Sabres pull off the 5-3 victory over the Flyers and grab their 10th win of the season.

“It’s awesome, it’s like a dream,” Ruotsalainen said. “I don’t know what to say it’s awesome.”

It was part of another comeback win for Buffalo. They fell behind 2-0 in the first, and responded with two goals in the second period, one from Sam Reinhart, and another from the rookie.

Early in the 3rd period, the Flyers retook the lead, but instead of panicking, the Sabres rallied. They scored three goals in the final 10 minutes to get the lead and the win, 5-3.

Jeff Skinner scored on a close goal that had to be reviewed after there was concern he kicked it with his skate. It was deemed a good goal, and the game was tied. Rasmus Asplund scored moments later to give the Sabres a 4-3 lead. Casey Mittelstadt added an empty net goal late in the contest to extend the lead to 5-3.

Once again, this team didn’t quit in a moment where they could have easily folded up.

“We knew that [the Flyers] were going to come out hard and they did and we could have folded when it was two-nothing and we didn’t so we are learning how to win games different ways,” forward Kyle Okposo said. “You need to do that to become a good team and we are starting to take steps.”

The Sabres have won their 10th game and face the Boston Bruins next on Tuesday.

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