The Buffalo Sabres played their final preseason game against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. Robin Lehner started in goal for third time this preseason and was challenged by Ottawa early in the game.
Lehner showed good lateral movement and foot speed in the crease and looked sharp throughout the contest. Despite giving up two goals, the Swede made numerous strong saves late in the game to preserve the Sabres’ win 4-2.
Among the Sabres playing on the bubble tonight was Casey Nelson, who is looking to earn a roster spot. Sam Reinhart opened the scoring on a redirect from the slot on a blast from Nelson from the point.
Marcus Foligno scored a nifty one-timer goal after being set up by a beautiful setup pass from Jack Eichel. Derek Grant, who has been outstanding this preseason, scored his 3rd goal this preseason on a cross-ice pass from Evander Kane. Grant left no doubt when he buried the top shelf shorthanded goal off the post.
The game saw a good dose of Kane, Eichel and Reinhart. Their collective speed and playmaking ability was evident as each of them earned points in the game.
Midway through the third period, Kane capitalized on a Reinhart takeaway and scored on a backhanded rebound. The Sabres were buzzing in the offensive zone with good puck movement throughout the game. Strong defensive zone play allowed the Sabres to jump into a few odd man rushes, one of which resulted in the Derek Grant goal.
Defensively, Josh Gorges stood out with a blocked shots and several crushing hits. The Sabres appeared to be able to match the physical game play of Ottawa and surpassed them in energy and speed.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for Ottawa on the 12th shot of the game. In the third period Ottawa’s Kyle Turris sent a shot top shelf over the glove side shoulder of Lehner.
The Buffalo Sabres ended the preseason without a power play goal and finished with a 4-3 record. The Sabres’ home opener is less than a week away. They’ll face off against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at KeyBank Center.