From the Locker Room: Sabres-Blue Jackets

Hear from Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson, Carter Hutton, Conor Sheary and Phil Housley following the 5-4 win in Columbus

Jon Simon
January 29, 2019 - 11:13 pm

Photo: Russell LaBounty - USA TODAY Sports


After their long, 10-day break, the Buffalo Sabres returned to the ice on Tuesday night and skated to a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

The rest appeared to be a positive for Buffalo as they came sprinting out of the gates. Evan Rodrigues, Sam Reinhart and Tage Thompson each scored in the first 10 minutes of the opening period and the Sabres took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.

The Blue Jackets flipped the script on Buffalo in the second period, scoring three goals to the Sabres' one. Jeff Skinner tallied his 31st goal of the season to give the Sabres a 4-2 lead early in the second period; but a pair of late Blue Jacket goals, one coming with 32.8 seconds left in the period, knotted the score at 4-4 after 40 minutes of play.

Conor Sheary scored the lone third period goal 2:12 into the final frame to give the Sabres a 5-4 lead. Carter Hutton stood tall in net throughout the third period and made a number of big saves to maintain the one-goal lead. Hutton stopped all 12 shots he saw in the third and finished with 33 saves on the night.

Lets go inside the locker room to hear what Skinner, Thompson, Hutton, Sheary and Phil Housely had to say following the victory:


Jeff Skinner:

On Sabres' third period: "I thought we had a good response. Obviously giving up two quick goals on the road is tough. We came into the [second] intermission and regrouped a little bit and got off to a good start in the third. Sheary got a big goal for us and we were able to shut it down from there."

On Sheary's goal: "It's a big goal. It sort of swung the momentum back in our favor. Obviously going into the second intermission they might've had a little bit of momentum and Sheary gets a goal and swings it a little bit in our favor and then guys get excited going out for the next shift and sort of follow it up."



Tage Thompson:

On victory coming out of All-Star break: "[Columbus] is a top team in the standings and that was a big win for us. I think it's a good start coming off the break and getting a win. We're heading into Dallas tomorrow and I think it's going to be another huge game for us. We just have to keep this thing rolling."

On good start in first period: "I think it was just playing simple. Obviously coming off the break you're going to be a little rusty, the hands aren't there right away and the legs are a little heavy, but I think we just have to keep playing simple and make sure we're getting pucks out and pucks deep and staying on the right side of guys."



Carter Hutton:

On third period: "We got a big goal early and then from there I thought we did a good job locking it down. They had a few chances and I was able to make a couple of saves. I thought we did great in the last three minutes, it felt like it was almost 6-on-5 hockey there. They had a couple shots from the outside, but guys were blocking shots and battling. It was just a real character win."



Conor Sheary:

On importance of win over Columbus: "Even though they're not in our division we're still chasing them down. We're trying to move into that wild card spot and eventually into the top of our division. So those are a big two points for us."

On breaking scoring drought: "I went through one last year. I've gone through it before and it's definitley hard times but you just have to stay with it. You're in this room and playing in this league for a reason, but it was good to get a nice and easy [goal] tonight."



Phil Housley:

On team's response in third period: "I thought our third period was very strong. We had a lot of quality looks, get a big goal from Conor Sheary and for the most part I thought our checking was really good. There were times I thought we could've managed better but it's never going to be easy right now at this time of the year. We just have to learn from it and move forward." 

On goal support for Hutton: "He got some run support finally and he made some key saves at the end there. It's good for him to build confidence and I think the guys in front of him did a pretty good job. There weren't a lot of second opportunities."


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