Sabres get back in the win column after just one loss

October 18, 2019 - 1:59 am
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(WGR 550) - It wasn't pretty, but the Sabres got back in the win column by shutting out the Kings 3-0. Carter Hutton absolutely earned his second straight shutout, making 47 saves. Hutton's shutout string is now at 128:36.

Hutton leads the NHL with a 1.40 goals-against average and .953 save percentage. His record is 5-0-0.

The win put the Sabres back into first place overall in the NHL with 13 points.

This was a night for Casey Mittelstadt to shine. He was skating and competing in both the offensive and defensive zone. Mittelstadt and Jimmy Vesey welcomed Conor Sheary back to their line after he missed four games. Evan Rodrigues sat as he was totally ineffective in the four games he played.

Mittelstadt worked very hard to get his first goal of the season. Sheary knocked a puck down in the neutral zone and sent it up the wall. Sean Walker had the puck for a split second, but Mittelstadt took from him and chipped the puck past him to a breaking Jimmy Vesey. Mittelstadt didn't break stride and headed for the slot, where Vesey found him for the goal. The assist was Vesey's first point as a Sabre.

The Sabres' second goal was a very good breakout by Rasmus Dahlin, who quickly got the puck up to a breaking Mittelstadt. He set up Sheary for a one-timer, and he netted his third goal in four games.

The Sabres broke a 2-for-17 power play slump when Rasmus Ristolainen got his head up and found Mittelstadt in behind Jack Campbell, who over-played the shot. Ristolainen passed instead, and Mittelstadt steered it into an empty net.

Hutton was fantastic, but had some luck in this game. Ilya Kovalchuk hit the post with a wide-open net staring at him, and fired a power play one-timer wide from the slot.

The Sabres put themselves in a spot at the end of the second period to have to kill off a 1:33 5-on-3 power play. Vladimir Sobotka was stellar on the kill. First, he positioned himself so a rebound would come to him and he sent the puck down ice. He then deflected a great chance from the slot out of play and finally got his stick in the passing lane stopping Kovalchuk from getting a one-timer.

He also won a key draw as the first penalty expired. Los Angeles only got one shot during the whole 5-on-3.

The Sabres were playing in back-to-back nights and it showed. They were fast and on it in the first period, but slowed down and allowed the Kings to come to them in the final 40 minutes. Buffalo got out-shot 36-17 in the final two frames.

Ralph Krueger is giving the team Friday off from practice, and then they'll finish the three-game road trip in San Jose on Saturday.

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