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Eichel back, Lehner pitches shutout for Sabres

It was the preseason debut for Jack Eichel and the second-year pro stepped right into his role.

Eichel created and set up a goal as the Buffalo Sabres earned a 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Marquette, Mich., Tuesday night. The win moved the Sabres to 3-2 in the preseason.

Eichel, in his first game back with the Sabres after playing in the World Cup with Team North America, centered a line with Sam Reinhart and Alexander Nylander.

Late in the second period, Eichel set up the Sabres offense, cycling the puck, passing it back to Casey Nelson at the point who let a shot go. Reinhart tipped the shot with 2:34 left in the period to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead.

D-lo down low: Nic Deslauriers had given Buffalo a 1-0 lead 1:39 into the second period. Hudson Fasching fed Deslauriers the puck in the slot. From his knees, Deslauriers put in his own rebound past Carolina goalie Cam Ward.

Quality outing from Lehner: Robin Lehner played the entire game in goal for the Sabres and looked solid. He moved well laterally, made some big stops and kept the Hurricanes 0 for 4 on the power play.

Welcome to Hockeyville, USA: The Sabres and Hurricanes played in the newly renovated Lakeview Arena in Marquette, Mich. The facility was chosen last year as the winning city for the second annual Kraft Hockeyville USA contest. Chosen in an online vote of 10 finalists from more than 1,000 entries, Lakeview Arena received $150,000 for repairs including the dehumidification system, locker rooms, Zamboni, lights, glass, benches, end netting and sound system.

Morning skate: Along with winning money for renovations, the Kraft Hockeyville USA contest also brings two NHL teams to the small town for a preseason game. Fans jammed the arena for the morning skates and reportedly cheered for goals during power play drills.

“I came out to watch Carolina’s morning skate and was amazed not only at the people in the stands, but at the energy in the stands and at the cheering of the fans in the stands,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said to the media after the skates. “Very few of them have a team in play here. They’re cheering for hockey. “

Roster moves: Tuesday morning, the Sabres recalled forwards Justin Bailey, Daniel Catenacci, Jean Dupuy and Cole Schneider along with defenseman Brady Austin from the Rochester Americans for the preseason road trip. The team returned forward Giorgio Estephan to his junior team, the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League.

Up next: Buffalo and Carolina meet again Wednesday night, this time in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The game will be broadcast on WGR 550 but not televised. The Sabres will conclude their preseason schedule Friday in Ottawa.

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