After suffering an overtime loss in their first preseason game to the Hurricanes, the Sabres bounced back with an overtime win of their own, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, tonight.
Jack Eichel capped off a three-point night by scoring just 25 seconds into overtime. Eichel’s other two points were assists on goals by longtime Sabre and fan favorite, Jason Pominville.
Pominville’s return to a Sabres uniform was a special one, regardless of it only being a preseason game. The population of Pominville grew by one halfway through the first period on a nifty pass from Eichel in the slot. He finished off the play with a one-timed wrist shot.
Pominville scored his second of the game on a play once again orchestrated by Jack Eichel. Eichel’s puck control and speed was on full display tonight, along with his apparent leadership. He, along with Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian donned “A’s” on their sweaters this evening.
The Kane-Eichel-Pominville line was undoubtedly the most involved and productive line for the Sabres. Their newfound chemistry should give Phil Housley some much needed information on how he will construct his starting lineup for opening night.
Eichel appeared alongside Evander Kane to begin the overtime period. After just 25 seconds, Eichel and Kane broke out on a 2-on-1 opportunity. Though Kane was relatively open, Eichel elected to shoot, scoring the game-winner.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 20, 2017
Some new faces to the team made some impressions tonight as well. Victor Antipin appeared to struggle slightly in his preseason debut, taking three penalties. Another new defenseman in Nathan Beaulieu skated alongside Zach Bogosian. Aside from some communication issues, Beaulieu had a strong game, making a concerted effort to join the rush whenever possible.
Matt Tennyson, who signed as a depth forward during the summer, tied the game at three with time winding down in the third period. Seth Griffith, who scored last in the first game on Monday, assisted on the goal.
The Penguins’ lineup was by no means star-studded. Up front it featured speedster Carl Hagelin, and on defense Olli Maatta made his presence known by scoring one of the Penguins’ three goals.
Chad Johnson played the first two periods in goal for the Sabres making 23 saves, while Adam Wilcox played the third and overtime.
The preseason continues as the Sabres kick off a home-and-home with the Maple Leafs in Toronto, Friday night at 7:30 p.m.