Islanders’ Mathew Barzal adds to Sabres’ woes with goal of the year candidate

As if the Buffalo Sabres weren't having enough trouble, they'll have to deal with an opponent's goal of the year candidate being on endless replay.

The goal was by the New York Islanders' Mathew Barzal as the speedy center tied the game 1-1 at 3:52 of the second period Saturday afternoon.

Starting in his own zone, Barzal churned his skates to chase a loose puck. Catching up to it, he tipped it with his stick to prevent a retrieval from Rasmus Ristolainen, then made a move that sent the Sabres defenseman tumbling.

Barzal then skated toward the net, pulled the puck and his stick through his legs and flipped a shot past a helpless Sabres goalie Carter Hutton.

MAT BARZAL ARE YOU KIDDING WITH THIS GOAL

SORCERY pic.twitter.com/YdQ3QKc2IH

"Especially this year, he's got a few pretty highlight-reel goals," Islanders captain Anders Lee said, "but that's high-level hockey right there and honestly just fun to see."

The Islanders went on to win 5-2 to extend the Sabres' losing streak to six games.

This shortened season has had its share of goal of the year candidates, including Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane's spinorama goal that would have made Denis Savard proud.

Or Minnesota Wild rookie Kirill Kaprizov's wraparound goal while he was falling.

There was even another candidate Saturday when the Florida Panthers' Jonathan Huberdeau pulled off a shootout-style stickhandling move on a breakaway.

🚨 Jonathan Huberdeau
2-1 #FlaPanthers
🎥 @FOXSportsFLpic.twitter.com/8F1sjmAcMP

But the Barzal goal drew a lot of praise.

Former NHL goalie Martin Biron even weighed in, referencing a similar goal by the San Jose Sharks' Tomas Hertl against him as part of a four-goal game in 2013.

Just credit me for allowing Hertl to score a similar goal. If I had stopped him back then, nobody would be trying things like that now!!!

"Just credit me for allowing Hertl to score a similar goal," he tweeted. "If I had stopped him back then, nobody would be trying things like that now!!!"

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