The Sabres survive and win in Winnipeg

Conor Sheary gets the shootout winner for Buffalo

Paul Hamilton
November 17, 2018 - 12:30 am

Photo: Terrence Lee - USA TODAY Sports


Winnipeg, MB (WGR 550) - Carter Hutton had to, once again, stand on his head for 40 minutes until his team woke up in the third period. Buffalo started moving their feet and skating and had the game tied with Jeff Skinner’s power play goal just 53-seconds into the third.

Yes, Buffalo had 16 shots in the second period, but much of it was from distance and Laurent Brossoit didn’t have to make too many big saves.

In that second period, Skinner and Sam Reinhart hit crossbars while Reinhart hit the post. Casey Mittelstadt had deked Brossoit out of his jock in the shootout and had the whole top of the net. His backhander rang the crossbar.

The Sabres got their game back in the third period and beat Winnipeg on Conor Sheary’s shootout goal. That means in two games, the Sabres have beaten two of the best teams in the NHL in Tampa Bay and Winnipeg and haven’t played close to their best game. I think that tells you something about this team.

Phil Housley knows they didn’t play their best game, but he said, "We bent a little bit, but we didn't break. Last year we might've broke. That's what great about this group, they stick with it. "Not only did Hutton keep the Sabres in the game for 40 minutes and the shootout, he was lights out in the shootout. He said, "I try to be patient, I try to force them to do something special."

Despite being out-played for two periods, Buffalo held a 32-26 shot advantage. The reason the Sabres were under siege in the first 40 minutes was puck management. The turnovers were plentiful, especially from Rasmus Dahlin who maybe had his worst game.

Tage Thompson blindly passed the puck backwards in the offensive zone handing the puck to Patrik Laine who executed an easy 2-on-1 for the Jets' only goal. That came in the second period. Thompson has to shoot that puck and not play the game backwards.

When the game was over, the Sabres were 11-6-2 and in third place in the Atlantic Division. Let me repeat that, the Sabres are 11-6-2. That had them back in sixth place in the NHL.

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