October 29, 2019 / 2:10 AM / 19 days ago

Coyotes hand Sabres first home loss in shootout

EditorsNote: rewords sixth and eighth grafs

Oct 28, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; Fans greet Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton (40) as he makes his way to the ice before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Schmaltz scored the only shootout goal in the Arizona Coyotes’ 3-2 win over Buffalo on Monday night, handing the Sabres their first home loss this season.

Schmaltz beat Buffalo goaltender Carter Hutton with a forehand shot on the glove side for the game-winner in the bottom of the second round of the shootout session.

Jack Eichel missed on the first attempt, and Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper stuffed Sam Reinhart and Casey Mittelstadt to run his record to 5-3-0.

Conor Garland scored his team-leading sixth goal — all coming in his last nine games — and added an assist. Carl Soderberg also tallied for the Coyotes, who finished the four-game road trip with a 3-1-0 mark.

Garland left the game in the third period after being hit by a puck on the right ear and sustaining a cut, but he later returned.

Kuemper stopped 24 shots of 26 shots through regulation and overtime, and he shook off a second-period collision and pile-up that stopped the game briefly.

Jeff Skinner notched a goal and an assist, and Eichel also tallied for the Sabres, who became the final NHL club to lose at home after opening with five straight victories on home ice.

Hutton made 42 saves in regulation and overtime to slip to 6-1-1.

Playing on his 23rd birthday, Eichel wristed in a shot from the left circle just three seconds into the game’s first power play for a 1-0 lead at 3:31 of the first period.

The Buffalo captain’s seventh goal beat Kuemper cleanly on the blocker side.

Marcus Johansson and Skinner lifted the lead to 2-0 with a clever give-and-go play in front of Kuemper.

Skinner dished the puck to Johansson, a free agent signing on July 6, and the Swedish center slipped it back to Skinner for a one-timer. Skinner buried his seventh marker at 11:16 as the Sabres grabbed a 2-0 lead.

But Garland scored his goal on a bad-angle shot with 70 seconds left in the opening period to give the Coyotes some life.

Slideshow (31 Images)

He wristed a shot from below the right circle on Hutton, who was hugging the post, but the puck bounced off the goalie and trickled in to make it 2-1.

Arizona tied it in the second period when Soderberg tipped a shot by Garland on the Coyotes’ first power play. The puck went high above Hutton, hit his back and rolled across the line at 16:32 for Soderberg’s third goal.

—Field Level Media

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