Comrie ‘calm and confident’ in preseason debut

COLOMBUS – Eric Comrie was less than three minutes after making his preseason debut for the Sabers when Carson Meyer snapped at him in a breakaway at Nationwide Arena on Wednesday.

Comrie shut down Meyer, one of three high-risk saves he made early in Buffalo’s 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The goalkeeper finished the game with 27 saves from 31 shots.

“He looked calm and confident, and you can only be that if you read shooters well,” said Sabers coach Don Granato. “That’s experience. He showed experience.”

Follow Priskie scored for the Sabers. Jack Quinn and Kale Clague had assists.

Here’s the breakdown of preseason game #3.

How it happened


Comrie made several high-risk stops to keep the Blue Jackets off the board early, including two close-range chances for forward Kent Johnson and the Meyer breakaway.

Columbus finally broke through with 11:13 left when a tic-tac-toe passing sequence ended with Emil Bemstrom burying a back door shot. Kirill Marchenko shot from the left circle to make it 2-0 on the power play less than five minutes later.

The Sabers went 0-2 on the power play that period.


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The Sabers tilted the ice in the middle stages and played 9-5 in scoring chances, according to the Natural Stat trick.

Priskie conceded early, pinching down the right side and burying a one-off shot set up by Quinn.

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Follow Priskie out Jack Quinn! #LetsGoBuffalo

“I think they just needed to get some rest,” Granato said. “…It’s a new experience for a lot of guys, with a lot of guys with limited experience. I think it was overwhelming at first but they found a way to work together to relieve some of the pressure that was being put on them. We actually saw a lot of ability, then from a lot of young players.


The Sabers earned an early power play down 2-1, but failed to capitalize despite creating chances JJ Peterka and Anders Bjork.

Jakub Voracek got behind the Sabers defense and gave the Blue Jackets a 3-1 lead with 12:02 left. Meyer, who had previously been stopped twice by Comrie at breakaways, came out single-handed and buried a backhand shot to end the goal.

What we learned

1. Comrie was asked about his goal for the first game of the preseason.

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“It’s just getting back on your feet, getting used to the pace, getting used to everything,” he said. “I know it myself, every year it takes a game or two to get back in. It was good to get out of there and a lot of fun to play the game.”

2. Priskie echoed Granato when asked about his first impressions of the Sabers’ goaltender.

“He’s calm and collected,” Priskie said. “You feel very safe when he’s between the whistle. I know this is obviously his first game in a while, so I know he’s going to keep building.”

3. Priskie, 26, was one of three defensemen to join the Sabers in two-sided deals on opening day of free agency along with Clague and Jeremy Davies.

Priskie had 31 points (8+23) in 54 games with AHL Charlotte last season. His goal on Wednesday was an example of his attacking instincts, which he hopes to complement with a strong defensive play in the training camp.

“It’s sort of my bread and butter,” he said of the goal. “As much as I want to bring to the table offensively, I want to be good defensively and my concern is to continue to show them that I can defend consistently at this level and be a producer for them.”

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4. Shot attempts were 20-12 in favor of the Sabers as Priskie was 5-on-5 on the ice, according to Natural Stat Trick, the best shot attempt percentage on the team (62.5).

5. Priskie was drafted by Washington in the sixth round in 2016. He finished his college career with Quinnipiac, signed as a free agent with his hometown Florida Panthers, and spent the last three seasons there before becoming a full free agent this summer.

A conversation with a current Sabers player helped convince him that Buffalo was the right opportunity.

“Really young group,” he said. “Really skilled and talented. I know Days Thompson a bit so I chatted to him and obviously he’s done a phenomenal job making me feel part of the group. So kudos to everyone. I’m really looking forward to this year and to this group.”


The Sabers return to the KeyBank Center at 1:00 p.m. Saturday to host the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tickets are available here.

Fans can stream the game on or hear Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray radio on WGR 550.