PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On a day when PPG Paints Arena was filled with thousands of local youth hockey players, the Penguins and Sabres went past regulation and overtime and into a six-round shootout.
Casey Mittlestadt scored in the sixth round of the shootout for the Sabres, giving them the victory.
The Penguins and Sabres battled to a scoreless tie after the first period, with neither team getting on the board.
Patric Hornqvist scored his first goal of the preseason just over eight minutes into the first period when he deposited the puck in the net during a net-mouth scramble. A point shot from Justin Schultz was tipped by Nick Bjugstad and then ultimately put past Buffalo goaltender Linus Ullmark, giving the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Bryan Rust scored his second of the preseason when he circled out from behind the Buffalo net and put a shot on net that eluded Ullmark, increasing the Penguins lead to two.
The Sabres would get on the board with 8:57 remaining the middle period thanks in part to a slap shot from Marco Scandella. Henri Jokiharju would pass the puck across the blue line to Scandella, who wound up and sent a high shot past Matt Murray, putting the Sabres within one.
That would end the second period, with the Pens ahead 2-1.
Both the Penguins and Sabres would increase their shot volume in the third, with the Penguins sending 15 to net and the Sabres 10.
However, the Sabres would get the only goal of the third period when Zemgus Girgensons would beat Matt Murray on a breakaway with 8:35 remaining.
Defenseman John Gilmour found Girgensons streaking through the neutral zone, put a pass on his stick and he would beat Murray on the stick side, tying the game at two apiece.
That would close out the scoring for regulation and the two teams went to overtime.
In the extra period, Evgeni Malkin was called for interference just 33 seconds in and the Sabres would head to the power play. The Penguins would ultimately kill the penalty off and then get a chance of their own when Sabres defenseman Vladimir Sobotka knocked down Penguins forward Jared McCann in front of the net.
Despite holding the puck in the zone for an extended period of time, the Penguins were unable to find the back of the net.
Kris Letang would score for the Penguins in the second round of the shootout but was answered by Tage Thompson of the Sabres, tying the shootout at one apiece.
Ultimately, Casey Mittlestadt’s sixth-round shootout goal would give the Sabres a 3-2 victory of the Penguins.
Matt Murray would stop 28 of 30 shots, good for a .933 save percentage and his counterpart Linus Ullmark would stop 34 of 36 shots, good for a .944 save percentage.
These two teams will meet Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena at 7:00 p.m. for the Penguins home opener.