The 2013 preseason has been going swimmingly for the Buffalo Sabres thus far with three victories in their first three games. Unfortunately for the Buffalo Sabres, those games don't mean much of anything after the calendar flips to October. The main goal of the preseason is get players back into game form and see how competitions play out for certain spots on the roster. In Thursday night's game against the Hurricanes, some players made strong cases to make the opening day roster.
The Sabres came out of the game with some back and forth action early in the first period, but found themselves in penalty trouble which gave the Hurricanes the momentum late in the period. Two first period power plays led to six shots on goal and Carolina outshot the Sabres 19-8 in the first period. Carolina did score in the period, an even strength goal as Zack Boychuk was able to find the back of the net through a Rasmus Ristolainen screen on Miller. The Sabres didn't look terrible in the first, the Hurricanes were able to just keep the momentum on their side through most of the period.
The Sabres were able to regroup though for the second and tied the game up on a Joel Armia goal. Armia was given a gift by Anton Khudobin behind the net which left a wide open net for Armia to wrap around. The Hurricanes were able to retake the lead just two minutes later on a Chris Terry goal that started off a Corey Tropp turnover along the boards. That lead would last just less than six minutes when Johan Larsson scored the first of his two goals on the night, a tip in off a Brayden McNabb slapshot from the blue line.
In the third, both teams started off slow offensively before the Sabres were able to take their first lead of the night on Cody Hodgson goal that was setup on a brilliant pass from Thomas Vanek. From there, the Sabres were just able to pour on the goals, mainly led by Brayden McNabb's point shots. His first shot was tipped in front of the net to give Johan Larsson his second goal of the night and just three minutes later he was able to get his own goal off a wicked slapshot from the half wall.
Ryan Miller played the full game and ended with 34 saves on 36 shots while Carolina's Anton Khudobin finished with 24 saves on 29 shots. Head coach Ron Rolston was pleased with the way his team regrouped after the first period. "I thought [Miller] did an outstanding job early in the game to keep us in that position to win a hockey game tonight. I like how we refocused, especially in the third period, and it's kind of a focal point for us. Whether we are down a goal, or tied, or up a goal, we have to be able to finish games out or find a way to win games. Tonight, we did that."
The Sabres have another day of camp before the Toronto Maple Leafs come into town for a Saturday night showdown.