Overreactions, Preseason Edition: Kids help Sabres beat Hurricanes

It’s good to be back.

In the Buffalo Sabres’ return to their home rink for their first home game of the preseason slate, a squad littered with young talent overcame a sloppy first 30 minutes to storm away with a 5-2 win over visiting Metropolitan Division rival, the Carolina Hurricanes.

Johan Larsson, acquired at last year’s trade deadline in the Jason Pominville deal, scored twice for Buffalo, who moved to 3-0-0 on the preseason campaign.

Trailing 1-0 after one period of play, Joel Armia scored his first of the preseason to tie the game. After surrendering another goal just minutes later, Larsson scored his first of the game, tipping in a Brayden McNabb point shot to deadlock the score after two periods.

Buffalo would go on to score three unanswered goals in the third, led by Cody Hodgson’s redirection of a Thomas Vanek pass with just under six minutes to go. Larsson and McNabb (who finished with a goal and two assists) would score insurance goals before the clock ran out.

The Sabres also got a very strong performance out of Ryan Miller, who played his first full game after splitting duties with Matt Hackett in Wednesday’s win over NHLBettingTips.com Metropolitan Division underdog Columbus. Miller stopped 34 of 36 shots to get the win.

While an undefeated record in preseason only means so much, the Sabres now face a home-and-home with Toronto. The Leafs will visit First Niagara Center on Saturday night for a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.

  • Really like Johan Larsson’s game tonight. The guy does everything you’d want him to do. He goes to the net, wins draws (71% on 17 draws) and shows a lot of hustle. He could force his way into a roster spot, but if he doesn’t, he won’t be in Rochester long.
  • Best guy on the ice for Carolina tonight? You guessed it: Andrej Sekera. Led Carolina with 23:03 of ice time, showed a lot of possession of the puck, and save for the two third period goals he was on the ice for, was really, really good. The Canes are gonna love him. Compher better pan out.
  • Brayden McNabb’s game has been hit-or-miss for a little while, but tonight his work in the offensive zone is evident in the boxscore. That shot can generate a lot of opportunities, whether it’s going straight in, or he’s putting it in places that guys can tip it. He needs to show that if he wants to stick.
  • Speaking of defensemen sticking, Rasmus Ristolainen is not far from being NHL ready, if he isn’t by now. Looked very solid and was good with the puck. He probably deserves to ride the bus in Rochester for a little bit, but he’s basically there.
  • Nathan Gerbe comment. [/narrative]
  • Ville Leino had a good game from my view.
  • I look forward to the day when every preseason game is broadcast on tv. It’s kind of stupid you don’t even have official team streams or anything. It’s 2013.
  • Saw a lot of media on twitter praising Tyler Myers for being active offensively, but honestly, it was never offense that was his biggest issue. Still saw some odd plays from him out of the back. He wasn’t even playing with Henrik Tallinder (rookie Mark Pysyk was) so I don’t know what the plan is. I just don’t think skating him with Nikita Zadorov is going to help either of them.
  • Both Jared and Jordan Staal have “J. Staal” on their nameplates. If you’re gonna do that, what’s the point?
  • Would’ve liked to see a little more out of Brian Flynn. For a guy that’s gotta play his way on to the team thanks to numbers, he really needs to show something here. Had a few good chances but wasn’t overly thrilling.
  • Lots of empty seats tonight. Pretty bad when you pre-sell 80% of your rink and people don’t show for the first game back.

Posted on September 19, 2013, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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