The Buffalo Sabres turned in a dominating performance in front of a raucous home crowd Saturday night.
A sold-out KeyBank Center watched the Sabres control play from start to finish in a 7-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils in their home opener.
Victor Olofsson scored twice on the power play, Sam Reinhart added a pair as well, while Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo and Jeff Skinner also tallied.
The Sabres power play was hot all night, finishing 3-for-4. Olofsson opened the scoring 2:56 into the game and Eichel made it 2-0 late in the first, also with the man advantage.
Buffalo added three goals in the second period and got the home crowd on its feet, particularly when Rasmus Ristolainen and Jake McCabe delivered back-to-back bone-crushing hits in the defensive zone.
Tonight's seven-goal output is the second-highest goal total ever recorded by the Sabres in a home-opener, trailing only the team's 9-5 win on Oct. 10, 1974 against the Boston Bruins, according to @SabresPR.
What it means
The Sabres are off to a 2-0-0 start.
And overall, it's a great beginning to the Golden Season.
Fifteen former captains participated in a pregame ceremony, including a walk down the Blue and Gold Carpet to greet fans. The captains were involved in the game throughout the night, including T-shirt tosses and broadcast interviews.
We have tons of content from the captains that you can find here on Sabres.com.
Also, with tonight's win, Ralph Krueger became the fourth Sabres head coach ever to earn wins in both of his first two games as the team's head coach, joining Marcel Pronovost (Oct. 13-15, 1977), Scotty Bowman (Oct. 11-13, 1979) and Jim Roberts (Dec. 9-12, 1981). Stick tap to @SabresPR for that stat too.
Roll the highlight film
Not sure where to start with this one, so let's start before the game. Here's the full pregame ceremony with Rick Jeanneret welcoming 50 fans, 15 former captains and the current team onto the ice:
Video: Home Opener Full Ceremony
Oh yeah, Sabretooth repelled. And the Earl of Bud returned, too.
Video: The Earl of Bud!
Ah, you know what? Here are all seven goals:
Video: NJD@BUF: Olofsson opens scoring with power-play goal
Video: NJD@BUF: Eichel cleans up loose puck for PPG
Video: NJD@BUF: Okposo redirects goal from in front
Video: NJD@BUF: Skinner roofs goal from the circle
Video: NJD@BUF: Olofsson nets second power-play goal
Video: NJD@BUF: Reinhart rings in PPG from the circle
Video: NJD@BUF: Reinhart buries second goal on breakaway
Buffalo will practice on Sunday and LECOM Harborcenter before heading out to Columbus, where they'll play the Blue Jackets on Monday. Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Nationwide Arena with the Buick Game Night pregame show starting at 6:30 on MSG.