Hutton outlasts Lehner, Sabres


“You got to be kidding me!”

That’s what Dan Dunleavy exclaimed right at the end of the game as Rasmus Ristolainen’s shot struck the crossbar. It would have knotted the game, but instead, Carter Hutton and the St. Louis Blues escaped with a 1-0 victory at KeyBank Center on Saturday night. 

Robin Lehner was on a terror tonight as he stopped 32 of 33 shots against St. Louis. Right from the get-go, Lehner was in the zone. Perhaps his biggest save of the night came against Brayden Schenn, when he picked up the puck of a sloppy turnover from the Sabres defense. Lehner was able to sprawl out and make the pad save on him. Following the shot, seconds after, he made another big save on a Vladimir Tarasenko, who was able to get a shot off from deep in the slot.

Unfortunately, the goaltender on the other side of the ice was able to best Lehner and the Sabres. Carter Hutton, a surprise Vezina candidate, didn’t falter at all, stopping all 27 shots the Sabres threw at him, proving why he may be one of the best goalies in the NHL this season.

Hutton’s big night came with a few nifty saves as well. His biggest came off of Sam Reinhart in the dying seconds of the game. At first glance it looked as if Reinhart missed the net. But Hutton was able to get the toe of the skate on the puck and able to push it wide of the net.

The one and only goal of the game came off the stick of Carl Gunnarsson, coming late at the 14:19 mark. It was a quick shot from the point coming off a defensive zone faceoff loss, with traffic in front. Lehner had no time to react do the well set screen.

Even though the Sabres were shutout, they were not short of chances. In the 3rd, they went on the power play twice, both late in the period.

On the first man advantage they were able to generate six shots and still were not able to find twine. The last power play was spent on a two-man advantage for a portion due to Lehner being pulled for the extra attacker.

The lineup saw an addition as Nathan Beaulieu made his way back into the lineup after being out with an illness. Before the game he was interviewed saying  “It’s obviously been really rough.” He said, “We’ve got 30 games left, and my goal is to play the next 30 solidly.” Beaulieu had a solid game as he saw 14:58 of game time.

The Sabres also saw one subtraction to the lineup as Johan Larsson is serving his 1st game of a two-game suspension due to a cross check on Vincent Trocheck Thursday night against the Florida Panthers. Evan Rodrigues replaced him in the lineup.





Joe Watkins
Probably the biggest Sabres fan out on the west coast. And just like all other fans, I'm ready for this drought to end and get a cup for the legendary RJ.
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