Welcome back, fellow Sabres fans! The Sabres kicked off the first of six preseason games, hosting the Carolina Hurricanes at KeyBank Center on Monday night.
Both teams sat enough players to field an AHL team, but that’s to be expected. The night brought us the much-anticipated debut of defensive pairing Brendan Guhle with Rasmus Ristolainen.
There were some good pushes in overtime and the Sabres saw some excellent plays, but it wasn’t enough as Derek Ryan netted his 2nd goal of the night, beating Linus Ullmark five-hole to close out the first preseason game.
Ryan opened the scoring for the Hurricanes, ripping a slapshot past Robin Lehner. He was assisted by Jeff Skinner and Haydn Fleury. However just 3:35 later, Seth Griffith got Buffalo on the board by way of a 2 on 1, assisted by Evan Rodrigues and Cliff Pu.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 18, 2017
Both teams had two power play opportunities in the first and neither team could capitalize.
Josh Jooris put Carolina back ahead with a short-handed goal after Ristolainen coughed up the puck in the defensive zone. Shortly after, Jake McCabe took a pass from Taylor Fedun and ripped a wrister top right to beat Jeremy Smith, putting the Sabres back even with the Hurricanes at 2.
Both starting goaltenders were replaced during the second intermission as Buffalo saw Ullmark take over in net.
Buffalo defensemen were more active offensively and it appears that would be the case with McCabe’s goal. McCabe and Ristolainen had four shots each, tied for the most of the team. Guhle appeared to stick with Ristolainen most of the game as the pair logged the most time on ice.
Buffalo was 0/7 on the power play and logged 35 shots on goal overall. The next game is Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m. and is available on WGR550 only.