Buffalo, NY – Johan Larsson scored twice, Joel Armia picked up a goal and an assist, and Brayden McNabb racked up three points in the Sabres' 5-2 preseason win over Carolina on Thursday. In the middle of the youth movement — Ryan Miller, who stopped 34 shots.
Carolina pressed Miller and the Sabres early, outshooting Buffalo 19-8 in the first period. Zach Boychuk finally capitalized for the Hurricanes at 15:45, making it 1-0 after 20 minutes. The Sabres responded about midway through the second period when Joel Armia shoveled a loose puck past Anton Khudobin, but Carolina regained the lead just a little over two minutes later on a Chris Terry goal. With 1:24 remaining in the second, Johan Larsson — who came to Buffalo in the Jason Pominville trade — finished off an impressive shift by tipping home a Brayden McNabb shot, tying the game 2-2.
The Sabres broke the game open in the final frame, beginning with Cody Hodgson's first goal of the preseason at 14:12. Thomas Vanek got the play started with a pretty pass to the streaking Hodgson, who beat Khudobin to give Buffalo its first lead of the game. Less than a minute later, right after a faceoff win, Larsson got his stick on another McNabb shot for his second goal of the evening. The goal was originally credited to McNabb and was changed following the game. Moments later, McNabb finally got on the scoresheet with a goal of his own to make it 5-2.
Miller picked up the win while seeing a full 60 minutes of action. His counterpart, Khudobin, also played the entire game and stopped 24 of 29 shots. With the victory, Buffalo improves to 3-0 in the preseason with the Toronto Maple Leafs visiting First Niagara Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. Hear the call on WGR 550 with Rick Jeanneret and Rob Ray.
15:45 - CAR - Zach Boychuck (1) (Patrick Dwyer)
6:21 - BUF - Brian Flynn (2 min., hooking)
13:25 - BUF - Colton Gillies (2 min., interference)
10:39 - BUF - Joel Armia (1) (Unassisted)
12:41 - CAR - Chris Terry (1) (Radek Dvorak)
18:36 - BUF - Johan Larsson (1) (Brayden McNabb, Ville Leino)
6:03 - BUF - Luke Adam (2 min., tripping)
13:05 - CAR - Brett Bellemore (2 min., roughing)
13:40 - BUF - Cody Hodgson (2 min., slashing)
14:12 - BUF - Cody Hodgson (1) (Thomas Vanek, Joel Armia)
15:08 - BUF - Johan Larsson (2) (Brayden McNabb)
17:51 - BUF - Brayden McNabb (1) (Unassisted)
10:15 - BUF - Nikita Zadorov (2 min., roughing)
CAR - Anton Khudobin (24 saves, 29 shots)
BUF - Ryan Miller (34 saves, 36 shots)
CAR - 0 of 5
BUF - 0 of 1
1.) BUF - Brayden McNabb (1 G, 2 A)
2.) BUF - Joel Armia (1 G, 1 A)
3.) BUF - Johan Larsson (2 G, 0 A)