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game recap

Sabres top Jets in shootout for fourth straight win

Skinner ties it in third with fifth goal in four games, 13th in 12; Wheeler point streak ends

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Jeff Skinner scored for a fourth straight game to help the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on Friday.

Skinner tied the game 1-1 with a power-play goal 53 seconds into the third period. It was his 400th NHL point. He has five goals in the past four games and 19 points (13 goals, six assists) in the past 13 games.

"I think we just got back on our toes," Skinner said of the Sabres' performance after they were outshot 12-4 in the first period. "I think early in the game they did a great job of clogging up the neutral zone. It seemed like we were going back in our end and (when) we tried to bring the puck up, they sort of clogged everything up and didn't allow us to get in and sustain any forecheck or gain any momentum. In the third, we spent a lot more time in their end, and it helped us out a lot."


[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Jets highlights]


Conor Sheary won it when he beat goalie Laurent Brossoit in the bottom of the seventh round in the tiebreaker.

"We got out to a slow start, they came out hard, but I thought we did a good job sticking with it, and we get a power-play goal in the third and were able to win it in the shootout," Buffalo captain Jack Eichel said. "Not the way we drew it up, but two points is two points, especially against a team like that."

Video: BUF@WPG: Skinner backhands home PPG for 400th point

Patrik Laine had a chance to win it for the Jets in the final seconds of the third period, but he hit the left post after intercepting a pass from Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian below the left face-off circle. The puck came back into Sabres goalie Carter Hutton and sat loose in the crease. Laine whiffed on his attempt to put in the rebound, and Bogosian slid it under Hutton as time expired.

"I was kind of on cruise control. I thought we were going to get it out," Hutton said. "It happens. No damage, right? It didn't end up in the net, so obviously a fun one."

Hutton made 25 saves for the Sabres (11-6-2), who have won four straight, including 2-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, when Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov hit the post with three seconds left.

Kyle Connor scored for the Jets (11-5-2), who went 3-0-1 on a four-game homestand after returning from the NHL Global Series. Brossoit made 31 saves and is 3-0-1 in four starts this season.

"It was a really good homestand," Connor said. "I thought we really started to play our game and we got contributions from everybody up and down the lineup. I thought it was a full team effort throughout those four games."

Winnipeg forward Blake Wheeler had his point streak end at 11 games. He had two goals and 18 assists during the streak, which matched his NHL career high.

Connor gave the Jets a 1-0 lead, extending his point streak to five games (three goals, two assists), when he beat Hutton with a wrist shot after a cross-ice pass from Laine on a 2-on-1.

"I think each game I've grown and really taken strides to be a more consistent player day in and day out," Connor said. "I think that's what makes great players in this league great: bringing it every single night."

Video: BUF@WPG: Sheary picks the corner for shootout winner


They said it

"I just think we bent a little bit, but we didn't break. I think last year we maybe would have broke a little more and gave the game away. We hung in there. That's what's great about this group, that they stick with it. We make some adjustments in between periods, and they follow through with those adjustments. But it's great for them, they've shown the resiliency up to this point in the season." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley


"Really pleased with our start. A number of really good opportunities we didn't really get to the net or finish off some plays. I think it changed our offensive mindset a little bit. I knew they would play better than they did in the first, they had a tough start to that game. It's still fairly even in the back half of that game. I thought we lessened our opportunity to get that second goal by slowing our offensive game down." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice


Need to know

Hutton is 4-0-0 in his past four games with a 1.42 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. ... Eichel, who set up Skinner's goal with a shot that Brossoit saved, has three assists in his past five games after he had eight points (one goal, seven assists) in a four-game point streak. … The Jets have allowed two goals or fewer in five of their past six games.


What's next

Sabres: At the Minnesota Wild on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Jets: At the Vancouver Canucks on Monday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, TSN3, NHL.TV)

Video: Skinner, Sheary lead Sabres to shootout win over Jets

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