Sabres defeat Penguins in home preseason opener, 3-2

Jack Eichel scores the game-winning goal in the second period

Pat Malacaro
September 18, 2018 - 7:07 pm

Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Sabres received goals from three different players, including Jack Eichel, on their way to a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night at KeyBank Center.

Buffalo out-shot the Penguins 14-7 in the opening 20 minutes, thanks in part to three power play opportunities. The Sabres cashed in on their final man advantage of the first when Vladimir Sobotka was credited with the goal. A bouncing puck deflected off of a Pittsburgh defenseman and into the net. The goal was unassisted for Buffalo. It capped off a 5-on-3 PP chance that was created after Daniel Sprong and Chris Summers were each called for minor penalties.

Rasmus Dahlin made his preseason debut for the Sabres and logged eight shifts in the first twenty minutes for a total of 7:52. That led all Buffalo skaters in ice time in the first period.

Jake McCabe pinched in from the point and was able to double the Buffalo lead early in the middle stanza. Evan Rodrigues and Sobotka assisted on the score. Rodrigues also played in Monday night's game at Columbus. 

Jack Eichel increased the Sabres' lead to 3-0 with a shorthanded goal towards the end of the penalty kill for the blue and gold. Eichel beat a Pittsburgh defender to the front of the net and deked Casey DeSmith to slide the puck around the netminder and score the goal. Lawrence Pilut assisted on the score that came with three seconds left in Sobotka's minor penalty.

Scott Wedgewood took over in goal for the third period, in relief of Carter Hutton. Hutton made all 14 saves in his forty minutes of game action.

Pittsburgh's first goal of the game came with less than five minutes to go in regulation. Will O'Neill got the Penguins on the scoreboard, and was assisted by Teddy Blueger. Buffalo's lead was cut to one goal after a shot from the point went off of Marco Scandella and into the net. Juuso Riikola was credited with the goal for the visitors.


Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 19:53 - Vladimir Sobotka (1) (unassisted)

Second Period:

BUF: 6:06 - Jake McCabe (1) (Evan Rodrigues, Vladimir Sobotka); 13:44 - Jack Eichel (1) SHG (Lawrence Pilut)

Third Period:

PIT: 15:43 - Will O'Neill (1) (Teddy Blueger); 16:21 - Juuso Riikola (1) (Daniel Sprong, Jake Guentzel)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

PIT: 15:14 - Chris Summers (Roughing - 2 min.); 17:51 - Daniel Sprong (Slashing - 2 min.); 18:28 - Chris Summers (Delay of Game - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 11:46 - Vladimir Sobotka (Tripping - 2 min,); 15:09 - Jack Eichel (High-Sticking - 2 min.)

Third Period:

PIT: 7:48 - Garrett Wilson (Slashing - 2 min.)


Shots on Goal:

BUF: 29 (14, 9, 6)
PIT: 26 (7, 7, 12)


BUF: Carter Hutton - 14 saves; Scott Wedgewood - 10 saves
PIT: Casey DeSmith - 26 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 4 (25%)
PIT: 0 for 1 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Jack Eichel - BUF
  2. Jake McCabe - BUF
  3. Evan Rodrigues - BUF

What's Next

The Sabres will play a home-and-home weekend series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Buffalo will travel to Scociabank Arena for a seven o'clock puck drop in Toronto, followed by a 7 p.m. face-off at KeyBank Center on Saturday night.

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