Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – With the Sabres' 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, Buffalo is now 2-0-0 in the preseason.
This game was disjointed with many players playing together for the first time. It was also the first game of the season for most of the players.
For me, it was what I saw in the final minute of the game when head coach Don Granato’s crew blocked three shots in an exhibition game to preserve the win. That's what this team is all about.
The shots were 21-21, so there weren’t all that many scoring chances in the game. Although, both teams rang the post a few times.
Brandon Biro played one game with the Sabres last season on injury recall, and he looks much more relaxed in this training camp. Biro was given credit for two goals, but actually had a goal and an assist, as he acknowledged what most of us thought.
Alex Tuch was able to tip in his shot from distance for the second goal, which resulted in the game-winning tally.
The guy you’ve been hearing me rave about all camp made his mark in this game just 3:24 in, when Lukas Rousek used his speed to be the first one on the puck in the offensive zone. He toyed with the Flyers defenseman, and found Biro in front for the goal.
Rousek was Buffalo’s best player, but didn’t get a star honor for the game.
Later, in the second period, Biro curled at the very top of the right circle and, somehow, got his shot far enough through for Tuch to tip it past goalie Troy Grosenick.
The 33-year-old Grosenick was never drafted in the NHL and was signed as a free agent this season. He’s only played four NHL games with the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings.
In 40 minutes of action, Grosenick stopped 12-of-14 shots. Sam Ersson played the final 18:23, stopping all seven shots he saw.
Craig Anderson played 30:02 in goal for Buffalo, giving up one goal on nine shots. The one goal was because Henri Jokiharju wiped out and took Owen Power with him, allowing Travis Konecny a free lane through the right circle.
Malcolm Subban played the final 29:58, making 12 saves on 12 shots.
Matt Savoie is two lockers down from Tuch in the Sabres' dressing room, and Tuch said he was jealous when the 2022 first-round pick kidded him that he’s 5-0 in a Sabres uniform.
Another player I liked was Linus Weissbach, who played right wing with Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner. Skinner couldn’t score on a breakaway chance in the first period, while Weissbach pulled away from the Flyers defense in the second period, but Grosenick just got a small piece of the puck and it slid into the far post.
As this game went on, this line really put the pressure on.
The game got chippy and a bit dirty in the third period. That led to a fight between Filip Cederqvist and Adam Karashik.
I think it’s interesting that the Sabres have two wins using two almost totally different lineups. I think most of the guys that haven’t played in a game yet will likely play in Columbus on Wednesday against the Blue Jackets.
Join Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray for all the play-by-play action, starting at 7 p.m. ET. I’ll be on during intermissions and postgame with Brian Koziol live from Columbus.