Minnesota Wild Fall to Sabres in Preseason Opener 3-2


The Buffalo Sabres’ Jack Eichel stole the show on Monday night in leading his Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Eichel, the 2nd overall pick in June, scored once while added an assist, and wowing the crowd with a spin-o-rama move during the game as well.

The Wild’s leader on defense, Ryan Suter, had this to say on Eichel after the game:

"He’s everything that you hear. Steady, big, long reach, upright skater. He slows the game down"

Minnesota did have a bright spot or two of their own on Monday night, with center Mikael Granlund having a very exciting night. Granlund, who signed a contract extension this off-season, recorded a goal and assist in Monday’s preseason opener, while also making multiple defensive plays on his own.

Granlund is a player who will need to take another step being the Wild’s first line center, so Monday’s play was very encouraging for his prospects this season.

The Wild got the scoring started off, with Jared Spurgeon scoring on a pass from Zach Parise, and Granlund. Spurgeon, who scored a career high nine goals last season, also started on the Wild’s first defensive line with Suter.

Sep 21, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (46) celebrates his goal with forward Zach Parise (11) during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo then got on the board with Nicolas Deslauriers beating Wild starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

Granlund broke the 1-1 tie in the second period on the power play with Parise and Suter assisting.

Minnesota could not contain the Sabres in the third period, with Matt Moulson and Eichel scoring for the Sabres resulting in the 3-2 loss.

This game also saw a 3 on 3 overtime period, with the NHL moving to three on three action for the 2015-16 season. Although the goals did not count, Eichel and Parise both scored for their respected teams.

Both Parise and Granlund had two points for the Wild, with Suter and Spurgeon adding a point a piece on their own. Kuemper takes the loss in net with Niklas Backstrom backing him up.

Devan Dubnyk, Thomas Vanek, and Charlie Coyle were included in the multiple inactive players for the Wild on Monday.

Minnesota will return to the ice tonight against the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg before taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

More from Gone Puck Wild