LAS VEGAS (AP) Casey Mittelstadt scored twice in Buffalo’s four-goal third period, Devon Levi made 32 saves and the Sabres rallied to beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 on Friday night.

Zach Benson and former Golden Knight Alex Tuch also scored for Buffalo in the third and Dylan Cozens had a first-period goal and added two assists.

Mittelstadt tied it at 2 at 5:01 of the third. Benson gave Buffalo the lead at 9:29, then set up Tuch’s goal with 8:48 left. Mittelstadt capped the scoring with an empty-net goal for his eighth of the season.

“I think they scored with 14 minutes left, so we had 14 minutes to come back and we got a lot of skill in this room,” Benson said. “So, you’re down by one, we’re not too scared, we got a lot of weapons in this room and we saw that tonight.”

For Levi, it was a celebration of sorts, during his first trip to Las Vegas.

“I think we were all excited for this game,” Levi said. “Personally, being able to go against the Cup champs from last year, it’s pretty special. I think everyone wants to beat them, it’s a great team on the other side of the ice.

“It’s really cool being in Vegas, my first time here, so I just enjoyed myself. I just felt like a little kid in Disneyland the last few days. Just a great trip overall.”

Buffalo has won three of its last four meetings with the Golden Knights, including two straight in Las Vegas.

“It was a big challenge tonight going against the defending Cup champs,” Cozens said. “We talked about it before that it was going to be a man’s game. And I think we did a lot of things good tonight, we played kind of a full 60, we didn’t make too many mistakes and we capitalized on our chances.”

Ivan Barbashev and Jack Eichel scored for defending champion Vegas, and Logan Thompson made 22 saves. Former Sabres star Eichel has a nine-game points streak.

Buffalo, 10-1-1 when scoring first, got on the board immediately after coming off a power play. Cozens skated into the slot and sniped a shot past Thompson to give the Sabres the lead at 7:42 of the first.

The lead didn’t last, though, as Barbashev skated in and cleaned things up with a flood of traffic in front of Levi. Eichel gave the Knights a 2-1 lead early in the third period when he snared a rebound from Paul Cotter’s miss and ripped it past Levi.

This time it was Buffalo with an immediate response, with Mittelstadt beating Thompson with a shot from the right circle.

“We had a ton of great looks early,” Vegas captain Mark Stone said. “It would have been nice to get out the first period with a lead. We put ourselves in the right position up 2-1 with 12 minutes left in the game. We got to close those out.”


Sabres: At Arizona on Saturday night.

Golden Knights: Host Ottawa on Sunday night.



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