Eichel plays hero in 5-4 preseason win over Penguins

September 16, 2019
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The Buffalo Sabres kicked off their preseason schedule with a 5-4, overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Hockey Valley at Penn State University.  Buffalo took shots early and often, and were able to come away with the victory despite conceding a three-goal lead in the third period to Pittsburgh.  Jack Eichel ended things with seconds to go in the overtime period.

The Penguins broke the scoreless tie early in this one, as Andrew Agozzino snuck a puck past Sabres' starting netminder Carter Hutton less than five minutes into the game.  Buffalo responded very well, though, and answered back with the game-tying goal just over a minute later.  John Gilmour potted his first goal of the preseason to make it 1-1 in Hockey Valley.  The Sabres continued to go to work all period long, firing shot after shot at Penguins' goalie Casey DeSmith.

One of their final shots of the period gave the blue and gold their first lead of the night, as former Penguin Conor Sheary tallied a goal just ahead of the final minute of the opening period.  Buffalo eventually broke for the first intermission leading 2-1 at Penn State University, leading Pittsburgh in shots 18-2 through the opening 20 minutes.

The first 10 minutes or so of the second period saw no changes on the scoreboard.  Hutton saw just one more shot against him before head coaches Ralph Krueger and Mike Sullivan opted to make goalie changes for sake of preseason work.  Jonas Johansson entered for the Sabres, while Tristan Jarry skated onto the ice for the Penguins.  Johansson was immediately tested and made a flurry of saves just moments after he entered the game, and did not waiver as he kept pucks out of his net.

Buffalo added to their lead seconds later, as they got to Jarry a little over a minute after he entered for the visitors.  Newly-acquired defenseman Henri Jokiharju scored his first *unofficial* goal in the blue and gold sweater after being brought in from the Chicago Blackhawks in the offseason.  His tally made it 3-1 Sabres midway through the middle stanza.  Then, with just under four minutes to play before the second intermission, Buffalo struck for their first powerplay goal of the preseason courtesy of second-year Sabre Tage Thompson.  That 4-1 score would hold through 40 minutes of play as Buffalo was a period away from putting the finishing touches on their first win of the preseason slate.

Despite being out-shot 37-9 through two periods, and eventually 45-13 in regulation, Pittsburgh did not roll over in the third as they rallied for three unanswered goals on four third-period shots to force overtime in Hockey Valley.  Sam Lafferty, Adam Johnson and Ryan Haggerty all scored goals against Johansson in succession in the final period of regulation as suddenly the Sabres had no answer to the Penguins' push.

The teams traded chances in overtime, but the game-winning goal was eventually scored by Jack Eichel with eight seconds to spare.  The Buffalo captain dropped the curtain on Pittsburgh with a breakaway tally to end things on Monday by a final score of 5-4.

 

GAME SUMMARY


Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 5:44 - John Gilmour (1) (Jimmy Vesey, Jack Eichel); 18:47 - Conor Sheary (1) (Rasmus Dahlin)
PIT: 4:34 - Andrew Agozzino (1) (Nathan Legare)

Second Period:

BUF: 11:40 - Henri Jokiharju (1) (Conor Sheary, John Gilmour); 15:58 - Tage Thompson (1) PPG (Rasmus Dahlin, Jeff Skinner)
PIT: NONE

Third Period:

BUF: NONE
PIT: 0:51 - Sam Lafferty (1) (John Marino); 6:24 - Adam Johnson (1) (Unassisted); 8:46 - Ryan Haggerty (1) (Jack Johnson, Dominik Simon)

Overtime:

BUF: 4:52 - Jack Eichel (1) (Conor Sheary)
PIT: NONE

 

Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: NONE
​PIT: 11:45 - Jack Johnson (Holding - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 1:58 - Andrew Oglevie (Interference - 2 min.); 7:29 - Colin Miller (Holding - 2 min.); 10:37 - Rasmus Dahlin (Tripping - 2 min.)
PIT: 10:20 - Chad Ruhwedel (Hooking - 2 min.); 15:06 - Samuel Poulin (Hooking - 2 min.); 16:53 - Juuso Riikola (Illegal check to the head - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: NONE
PIT: NONE

Overtime:

BUF: NONE
PIT: NONE


Shots on Goal:

BUF: 47 (18, 19, 8, 2)
PIT: 18 (2, 7, 4, 5)
 

Goalies:

BUF: Carter Hutton - 2 saves; Jonas Johansson - 12 saves
PIT: Casey DeSmith - 23 saves; Tristan Jarry - 19 saves


Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 4 (25%)
PIT: 0 for 3 (0%)

 

What's Next:

No rest for the weak; the Sabres get right back on the ice tomorrow night for preseason game number two.  The blue and gold travel to Nationwide Arena to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7:00 p.m.  Pre-game coverage with Brian Koziol starts Tuesday evening at 6:45 p.m. on the home of the Buffalo Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.