Sabres Fall to Coyotes in a Shootout


1Jack EichelDylan Larkin🚨
2Sam ReinhartAndreas Athanasiou🚨


Nick Schmaltz notched the shoot-out winner, Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves, and the Arizona Coyotes defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in a shootout Monday night at KeyBank Center. 

Jeff Skinner provided the prettiest goal of the night, as he executed a beautiful give-and-go weave with Marcus Johansson in the offensive zone, that saw Johansson draw both Arizona defenders to him, allowing his pass to be cleanly one-timed into the net by the diminutive winger. It was Skinner’s 7th of the young season and provided a spark in the arena as the Sabres at that point, had a 2-0 lead.

From that point though, Arizona carried long stretches of play in the neutral and offensive zones. Considering Arizona came into the game 7th in the NHL in High-Danger Corsi-for Percentage, it’s not surprising that they were able to create dangerous scoring opportunities. Despite that, it was a rather innocuous play that opened the scoring for the visitors. 

15:43Nicklas Backstrom (1)Alex Ovechkin (1)T.J. Oshie (1)
18:48PPGTaylor Hall (1)Victor Olofsson (1)Jack Eichel (1)
110:33PPGT.J. Oshie (1)Alex Ovechkin (2)John Carlson (1)
27:05John Carlson (1)T.J. Oshie (2)Nicklas Backstrom (1)
213:23Brenden Dillon (1)Conor Sheary (1)Lars Eller (1)
218:46Tobias Rieder (1)Dylan Cozens (1)Jake McCabe (1)
30:20Jake McCabe (1)Jack Eichel (2)Tage Thompson (1)
30:46Jakub Vrana (1)------
318:06Victor Olofsson (1)Taylor Hall (1)Sam Reinhart (1)
318:57ENGarnet Hathaway (1)Nick Jensen (1)---

Conor Garland corralled the puck on goaltender Carter Hutton’s left and had no other play but to fire it on the short-side. Hutton at first glance appeared to have everything covered, but a small opening between his glove and pad proved to be just enough space for Garland, as he halved the lead.

Jack Eichel and Carl Soderberg each scored power-play goals of their own for their respective clubs as part of the 2-2 tie in regulation.

The overtime period had everything you’d want as a Sabres fan….except a goal. The Sabres hit multiple posts by great shots by Sam Reinhart and Casey Mittelstadt, but could not end this one in the extra session, thus leading to Schmaltz’ game-deciding shoot-out goal. The loss prevented Buffalo from becoming only the second team in franchise history to start the home schedule 6-0. 

The loss can’t be handed to Carter Hutton, as he was excellent in net for Buffalo, making 42 saves on 44 shots on net.

Hutton responded beautifully to the sub-standard effort he and his teammates put on in his last start against the Rangers. It was highly-encouraging seeing his calm, poised demeanor for the majority of the contest. 

Though he faced far less rubber, Kuemper was very good for Arizona as well. He dazzled with a right pad save on Johan Larsson, as the Sabres forward was creeping towards the far-post, received a beautiful pass from Kyle Okposo and looked to have a tap-in until Kuemper’s right leg flashed out and made the save. The Coyotes’ netminder was injured on the play but was able to finish.

Up next for Buffalo will be a three-day break, followed up by a Friday night tilt in the Nation’s Capital and a date with the Washington Capitals. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. at Capital One Arena. 

Craig Schutts
Millersville Alumni; Life-long Buffalo sports fan; Part-time writer and podcaster until they throw me out!
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