Eichel, Sabres hold off Wild in exhibition opener

Wild forward Jason Zucker (16) shoots in front of Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe (29) during the second period at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Monday night.

Brace Hemmelgarn/Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

At St. Paul, No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel’s short-handed goal 5:44 into the third period gave the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.

Nicolas Deslauriers and Matt Moulson also scored for the Sabres. Eichel assisted on Moulson’s tying goal 1:36 into the third. Chad Johnson made 15 saves in 40 minutes for Buffalo, while Nathan Lieuwen stopped all three shots he faced in the third.

Jared Spurgeon and Mikael Granlund scored for Minnesota. Darcy Kuemper allowed all three of Buffalo’s goals in 58 minutes.