Buffalo Sabres centre Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)

Buffalo Sabres centre Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)

Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals, scores in win against Rangers

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens scored the first goal of his NHL career on Jan. 22 during a shootout loss to the Washington Capitals.

The Buffalo Sabres took the lead just over halfway through the first period on a goal from Eric Staal, but the Capitals evened things up with a goal from Niklas Backstrom before the intermission.

In the second, Nic Dowd scored early to give Washington a 2-1 lead.

The lead didn’t last long though, as Cozens found the back of the net to tie it 2-2 at the 10:43 mark of the second period.

“I saw a couple other guys coming down and I saw them as options to pass to,” Cozens said after the game. “I took one quick look at the net, saw my spot, and just let it go. I don’t really remember too much, I kind of blacked out a bit, but it found its way in.”

Jakub Vrana scored a couple of minutes later to put the Caps up 3-2, but Riley Sheahan responded 42 seconds later to tie the game 3-3.

A scoreless third period led to an overtime that solved nothing and Washington was able to edge out in a win in the shootout.

Cozens got the nod for Buffalo, shooting after Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall, with a chance to win the game, but like his teammates wasn’t able to solve Vitek Vanecek.

The Workhorse from Whitehorse, as media and fans have dubbed Cozens, finished the game with one goal on one shot, two blocked shots and 13:24 of ice time.

Sabres win rubbermatch against Caps

The Buffalo Sabres rebounded from their Jan. 22 loss with a 4-3 win against the Capitals on Jan. 24.

Down 1-0 after 20 minutes, the Sabres outscored Washington 2-1 in the second to tie things up after two periods.

After trading goals in the third, the game was 3-3 after regulation and overtime again solved nothing.

This time, it was Buffalo able to eke out a win 4-3.

Cozens was a healthy scratch, with head coach Ralph Krueger explaining it was part of the plan to keep taxi squad players involved.

Cozens returns to lineup, scores in win over Rangers

The Sabres beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Jan. 26, with Buffalo captain Jack Eichel scoring the winner midway through the second period.

New York jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to a Chris Kreider goal, but Buffalo tied things up courtesy of Cozens on the power play a little over six minutes later. The Rangers scored again in the first with just seconds to play, taking a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Buffalo took the lead for good in the second period with a goal from Tobias Rieder to tie things at 2-2. Eichel scored his first of the season a little over a minute after Rieder, making the score 3-2.

Cozens finished the game with a +1 rating, a goal, three shots on net and a little over 10 minutes of ice time.

The Sabres and Rangers meet again on Jan. 28, before the Buffalo club heads across the river for a back-to-back against the New Jersey Devils.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Dylan Cozens

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