BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — Despite falling behind 4-1, the Buffalo Sabres put together a late rally and topped the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 in a shootout to win their first preseason game of the 2021-2022 season.
"Everything should be meaningful," head coach Don Granato said after the game. "In perspective, it is the preseason, it's not regular season NHL level by any means, but it's like when you go play in the backyard against your friends, you want to win. We have to have that approach any night."
The Sabres just found a way to win. I haven't typed those eights words in the same sentence in a long time.— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 29, 2021
Buffalo scored three goals in the third period to erase a three-goal deficit and force overtime. Micahel Mersch sparked the comeback for the Sabres with a goal just outside the crease 2:33 into the final frame.
With their goalie pulled, J.J. Peterka scored his first goal in a Sabres uniform to make it a 4-3 game. Linus Weissbach picked up the lone assist on the play.
"I think we just played with the heart in the third period," Peterka said after the game. "Everyone was cheering for each other. It was an awesome feeling."
About a minute later, Weissbach would be the one finding the back of the net, sending home a rebound from a Vinnie Hinostroza shot. Weissbach finished the night with a goal and two assists.
Linus Weissbach was the Sabres best player tonight. It's definitely the hair.— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 29, 2021
After a scoreless five minutes of overtime, the Sabres scored the only goal in the shootout on a pretty deke from 2020 first-round pick Jack Quinn. Columbus failed to score on all three of their attempts.
Goaltenders Aaron Dell and Dustin Tokarski split time for the Sabres in their first preseason game. Dell faced 15 shots and allowed three goals. Tokarski allowed one goal on 17 shots.
Arttu Ruotsolainen scored the Sabres' first goal of the preseason in the first period.
Buffalo's next preseason game is on Thursday on the road against the Detroit Red Wings.