Johansen gave Columbus a 1-0 lead with 1:51 left in the first period, scoring on a rebound after Michael Chaput was stopped on a breakaway out of the penalty box. Atkinson put a rebound behind Niklas Backstrom at 4:23 of the second, and Letestu made it 3-0 at 7:53 with a wrist shot from the left circle.
Niederreiter knocked in a rebound of Charlie Coyle's shot for a power-play goal in the second. Backstrom stopped seven shots before being replaced by Darcy Kuemper midway through the game. Kuemper also made seven saves.
The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.
— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres