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Sabres rally to beat Blue Jackets in preseason opener

Buffalo rallied from a 4-1 deficit to win 5-4 in a shootout.
Credit: AP
Columbus Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins, right, makes a save against Buffalo Sabres' Linus Weissbach during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

The Sabres are embarking on a new era with young players. 

Growing pains come with that territory. 

There were plenty on Tuesday night. 

There was also plenty of growing. 

Buffalo trailed 4-1 at the end of two periods and rallied to win 5-4 on a shootout goal from 2020 first round pick Jack Quinn. 

Oliver Bjorkstrand had a pair of goals to put the Blue Jackets up 2-0 in the first.  Arttu Ruotsalainen cut the lead in half before the end of the first. 

Columbus got goals from Vladislav Garikov and Jake Bean to take a 4-1 lead after two periods. 

It was in the third that plenty of the youth settled down and rallied.  The Sabres got goals from Michael Mersch, JJ Peterka, and Linus Weissbach who tallied at 19:06 to tie the game 4-4. 

After overtime it went to a shootout where 2020 first round pick Jack Quinn scored the only goal, lifting the Sabres to the win. 

Head coach Don Granato very much kept things in perspective. 

"That was fun to see.  Very nice to see, but as you mentioned, these games are tough.  That was a tough game for all of the young guys.  It's a new level. It's not quite the NHL level yet, it's the NHL preseason still,  so there's a whole nother level coming and there's a lot from that game that they can take away."

The Sabres continue the preseason Thursday night at Detroit.