Jeff Skinner scored his 22nd goal of the season and Carter Hutton finished with 25 saves to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
Evan Rodrigues and Casey Mittelstadt also scored goals for Buffalo which won its second straight game. Hutton returned to action after missing three games with an upper body injury as the Sabres improved to 11-3-2 on their home ice, matching their total for home wins for the entire 2017-18 season.
Christian Fischer scored the lone goal for Arizona which lost its fourth straight game. Darcy Kuemper finished with 30 saves.
Buffalo took advantage of a couple of turnovers by Alex Goligoski to jump out to a quick 2-0 lead. Conor Sheary stole the puck near center ice and then set up Mittelstadt for the first goal with a drop pass in the slot with Mittelstadt finishing with a wrist shot over Kuemper’s glove.
Skinner, who rattled a shot off the post earlier, followed with what would prove to be the game-winner just six minutes later, scoring at the end of a two-on-one with Jack Eichel and beating Kuemper with a wrist shot past his blocker side.
Fischer cut the deficit to 2-1 with his seventh goal of the season, fooling Hutton with a wraparound from behind the right side of the net that slid under the Buffalo goaltender’s pads.
Rodrigues put the Sabres back up by two goals at the 6:28 mark of the third period, capitalizing on another Arizona turnover near center ice and then breaking in and beating Kuemper with a wrist shot for an unassisted goal, his second of the season.
The Coyotes pulled Kuemper with 3:19 remaining and briefly had a six-on-four advantage when Skinner picked up a hooking penalty with 2:42 left. But Derek Stepan was called for a hooking penalty 19 seconds later and Arizona failed to register a shot goal the rest of the way.
—Field Level Media