The Wraparound: Pittsburgh 5, Sabres 3 - The Buffalo News

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The Wraparound: Pittsburgh 5, Sabres 3

Brendan Guhle put on quite a show, again, but the Buffalo Sabres dropped the final game of the Prospects Challenge, a 5-3 setback to the Pittsburgh Penguins in HarborCenter Monday night.

Jan Drozg broke a 3-3 tie, scoring with 10:09 left in the game to give the Penguins the lead. An empty netter with 18.8 seconds left secured the win and gave Pittsburgh the best record in the four-team event at 2-1.

The Sabres finish 1-2 with a win over the Boston Bruins and an overtime loss to New Jersey.

Guhle, the Sabres defenseman who was a second-round pick in 2015, had a goal and two assists in the loss. It was his second-straight three-point game, closing out the tournament with two goals and four assists. Guhle had 33 points in 55 games for two teams in the Western Hockey League last season.

The Sabres scored three power-play goals, but spent much of the game in their own zone as Pittsburgh held a commanding 51-26 lead in shots.

Clicking on the power play: The Sabres took a 1-0 lead with 6:10 left in the first period when the power play unit worked a solid offensive-zone possession. Guhle snapped the puck from the high slot, a shot that went high and past Pittsburgh goalie Alex D'Orio. C.J. Smith and Cliff Pu recorded the assists.

The closing seconds: The Penguins forecheck was all over the Sabres in the final minute of play in the first period. Buffalo goaltender Jonas Johansson made an incredible save on Pittsburgh forward Freddie Tiffels in a one-on-one battle in the crease with about 30 seconds left. But with 14.4 left Thomas Di Pauli shoved a lose puck into the net, sending the game into the intermission tied, 1-1.

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Emblematic: The end of the first was characteristic of how the first went, with Pittsburgh dominated offensive zone play. The Penguins had five shots on goal to Buffalo's three icing calls in the first six minutes of the game.

Second-period penalties: The Sabres found themselves on a 5-on-3 disadvantage in the second period. Austin Osmanski was called for a slashing penalty. Then on the faceoff in the Sabres zone, Cliff Pu was called for a minor for closing his hand on the puck in the faceoff circle. Buffalo nearly killed it off, but with one second left on the two-man advantage, Zach Auston-Reese scored to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead.

More power: The Sabres got a power play opportunity right back and Justin Bailey cashed in with a low shot along the ice to tie the game, 2-2.

And the goals keep on coming: The punch-counter punch scoring continued late in the second. Pittsburgh took a 3-2 lead with 5:30 left on a goal by Lukas Bengtsson, but the Sabres responded with 45 seconds left in the period when Guhle set up C.J. Smith for a one-timer. The power play goal tied the game, 3-3.

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Scratches: The Sabres scratched Sean Malone and Alexander Nylander, both with injuries, along with Jake McGrath, Devante Stephens, Brandon Hagel, and Anthony Florentino.

Boston gets win: The Bruins scored a 9-3 win over the New Jersey Devils in Monday's afternoon game of the tournament. Danton Heinen had three goals for the Bruins.

Up next: The Sabres opening training camp later this week with physicals on Thursday. Practice sessions at HarborCenter are open to the public starting Friday with sessions from 9:45-10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

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