November 14, 2018 / 3:45 AM / 3 months ago

Sabres edge Lightning behind hot Hutton

EditorsNote: Edit 1: Added player’s first name (Sam Reinhart) in seventh graf

Buffalo goaltender Carter Hutton made 29 saves to cool off the NHL’s top-scoring club in the Sabres’ 2-1 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

Hutton won in his second consecutive start and third straight appearance overall. He relieved Linus Ullmark and earned the victory last Thursday in Buffalo’s 6-5 comeback win in Montreal.

The Lightning entered the game averaging a league-best 3.65 goals per game, but Hutton, the Sabres’ No. 1 netminder, stymied them all night.

Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo scored goals for the Sabres, who have won three straight and are 4-0-1 in their last five home games. Nathan Beaulieu recorded his first two assists this season.

Skinner has scored 12 goals since Oct. 20 — a span of 11 games — and has seven in his last six contests. The tally was his 13th, putting him three behind the NHL-best of 16 by Boston winger David Pastrnak.

Anthony Cirelli had a goal for the Lightning, who have lost two straight, marking the first time this season they have dropped consecutive games. Goalie Louis Domingue made 17 saves.

Buffalo broke through at 17:45 when Sam Reinhart, who was promoted to the top line’s right wing spot, fired a shot from the right circle that hit traffic near the crease. Skinner cleaned up the rebound from in close and beat Domingue for a 1-0 lead.

Okposo worked a nifty toe-drag inside Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman then buried his fifth goal from inside the right circle at 5:43 of the second period, slinging a shot past Domingue’s blocker after a pass from Conor Sheary for a 2-0 lead. Beaulieu recorded his second assist on the play.

Tampa Bay finally scored when Cirelli took a slick flip-pass over the defenders in the neutral zone, then skated in on a breakaway and roofed his third tally over Hutton’s glove just 15 seconds after Okposo’s goal. The secondary assist by Yanni Gourde tied him for the Lightning lead with 11.

The Lightning pushed the pace of play in the period, outshooting Buffalo 14-2 but still trailed 2-1.

The Lightning pulled Domingue in the last 90 seconds, and Nikita Kucherov rang two potential tying shots off the post in the last minute, but Buffalo held on for the win.

—Field Level Media

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