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Game Recap

Sabres fall to Penguins despite late surge

The Sabres dropped their third consecutive game of the preseason despite a last-minute scoring push

Recap

The Sabres fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-4, tonight at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, despite two late goals from Jacob Josefson and Evander Kane to close the deficit with under a minute to go.

Buffalo was without their projected top defensive pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen and Marco Scandella sitting out. Buffalo was able to keep up throughout the game despite playing against high-caliber talent in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Although the Sabres and Penguins played evenly through the first 40 minutes, Pittsburgh took a 3-2 lead as the second period came to a close and never looked back.

After allowing three unanswered goals which allowed the Penguins to take a 5-2 lead, the Sabres were able to score twice in the final minute to close the deficit.

Although the Sabres were not able to stay out of the box tonight, the team showed their aggressive side, registering 23 hits through two periods. Bringing out the team’s grit and tenacity should be a focus for Phil Housley and his coaching staff as the Sabres near toward the regular season.

One of the highlights of tonight’s matchup for Buffalo was Victor Antipin scoring his first goal in a Sabres uniform, giving fans a glimpse of what he can bring to the team. After spending his last five seasons in the KHL, there is some question as to what role he will play in Buffalo, but his performance tonight could be a sign of things to come.

Nicolas Deslauriers, known more for his punches than his scoring, tied the game at 2 with under seven minutes remaining in the second period. Although the Sabres trailed when the period ended, it was a pleasant sight to see Deslauriers appear on the score sheet once again, especially after the Jordan Nolan signing earlier in the day. Many have speculated that Nolan will take Deslauriers’ spot on the roster after a disappointing 2016-’17 campaign.

Even though the Sabres lost a well-fought contest, they were much more aggressive in their play, which is something fans have been looking for as the preseason has progressed.  Chad Johnson will also have to step up his game during the regular season after a rough night in net where he stopped 22 of 27 shots faced.

The Sabres will close out the preseason Friday night at KeyBank Center against the New York Islanders. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Scoring

Penalties

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