With a more NHL-ready roster, featuring what will likely be three of Carolina’s opening night forward lines, the Canes came back and took down the Sabres by a final score of 3-2.
Carolina started the scoring in the first period thanks to a rocket off of the stick of Roland McKeown. Stempniak supplied him with a cross-ice pass in the offensive zone and Jeff Skinner picked up the secondary assist.
Mid-way through the second period, the trio of Sebastian Aho, Elias Lindholm and Teuvo Teravainen found the back of the net for the first time of hopefully many to come. Teravinen danced through the offensive zone and set up Lindholm for an easy tap-in goal on the powerplay.
Buffalo stormed back. Evander Kane capitalized on a turnover and scored on a breakaway chance to cut the lead in half. Then, a 5-on-3 shorthanded goal for Justin Bailey on a 2-on-1 rush tied the game in the third period and forced overtime.
A scoreless overtime, which included a 4-on-3 powerplay for the Hurricanes, led to shootout, where a hero emerged in the form of Jeff Skinner, who beat Linus Ullmark and improved Carolina’s preseason record to 3-2-1.
It’s Starting to Come Together
On Wednesday night we saw a lot of NHL regulars skate for the Hurricanes, rendering positive outcomes.
The Skinner, Victor Rask, Lee Stempniak line was dangerous. Stempniak appears to be the perfect third man alongside Skinner and Rask. He plays smart and has been able to form some solid chemistry early on with two of the “veterans” on this Hurricanes roster.
It was also great to see the highly anticipated “Linds and Finns” line finally find the back of the net. Aho and Teravainen have great chemistry already, so if Lindholm can continue to build off what has been a good preseason for him in terms of switching to the middle of the ice and playing solid two-way hockey, they can be a dangerous scoring threat once the regular season kicks off.
- Eddie Lack played the full length of the game. Both of the goals he allowed were off of odd-man rushes, one immediately following a turnover and one while the ‘Canes were on a 5-on-3 powerplay.
- Jeff Skinner’s assist on McKeown’s first period goal marked his third point of the preseason. He has notched a point in each preseason game he has played in. He ended Wednesday’s game with a shootout goal.
- McKeown has continued to impress in preseason action. He’s continued to play really solid hockey in his own end with great gap control. Now if he can contribute offensively like he did on Wednesday, he’s a player who will make a serious run at a roster spot over the next week.
- Warren Foegele’s name was said early and often by Chuck Kaiton against the Sabres. He scored in Tampa Bay last week and was buzzing again with a few scoring opportunities. Foegele will more than likely be sent back to Kingston in the OHL by the end of the week, but he is a player to watch going forward.
- Buffalo forward and World Cup of Hockey champion with Team Canada Ryan O’Reilly left the game in the first period due to injury and did not return.
- Jay McClement drew a double-minor high-sticking penalty in the second period and did not return immediately, according to Michael Smith.
I don't think I've seen Jay McClement since he took that high stick in the second period.— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) October 6, 2016
One More Time, for Good Measure
The Carolina Hurricanes have one more preseason game to go. They’ll host the Washington Capitals at the PNC Arena on Friday.
Expect an opening night preview with head coach Bill Peters’ lineups as they look to hit the ground running on October 13 in Winnipeg.