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At the Horn: Sabres 2 - Avalanche 3

Hutton makes 31 saves in road loss

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton was busy in net Wednesday night, making 31 saves in the Sabres' 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center.

Zemgus Girgensons and Curtis Lazar scored for Buffalo, who opened up a four-game road trip in Denver. Each goal ended up tying the game before Colorado took their final lead of the night midway through the third period. 

Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz turned away 31 Buffalo shots. 

The Sabres' power play went 0-for-2 on the night while Colorado was able to capitalize on two of their three opportunities. 


What happened

The Sabres started out strong, generating quality chances in the Avalanche zone, but it was the Avalanche who struck first. Gabriel Landeskog scored on the power play with 5:36 left in the first. However, the Sabres responded quickly. 

Kyle Okposo drove in and threw the puck in front where a crashing Girgensons was able to tip it and tie the game with 3:39 remaining.  

Colorado regained the lead at the 7:15 mark of the second period when Martin Kaut put home rebound on the power play for his first NHL goal. 

The Avalanche were buzzing after the goal, and the two teams traded chances for the remainder of the period. Sam Reinhart was stopped by a diving Francouz midway through the second and then Hutton made a great save on Valeri Nichushkin

Then with 5:04 left, Lazar evened the score when he tipped in a wrist shot from the point by Jake McCabe. 

Then 2:38 into the second period, the Avalanche though the took the lead, but the officials ruled that Tyson Jost had deflected the puck in with a high stick. 

However, Colorado would take the lead when J.T. Compher got loose in front and put a Joonas Donskoi shot in past Hutton with 8:06 left in regulation. 

Buffalo upped their pressure in the final minute with the extra attacker, but were unable to beat Francouz. Victor Olofsson hit the post on once chance and was denied one a one-timer by a great pad save from the Colorado netminder. Buffalo's final shot attempt missed the net as time expired. 

 

What it means

The Sabres are now 29-26-8 on the season and 10-16-4 on the road. Buffalo is eight points behind Toronto for the third seed in the Atlantic Division. The Maple Leafs have played one more game. The Sabres are 10 points behind Columbus for the second Wild Card spot. The Blue Jackets have played two more games. 

Okposo extended his point streak to five games. He has four goals and two assists over that span. 

Wayne Simmonds made his Sabres debut. Buffalo traded a conditional fifth-round pick to New Jersey for the forward on Monday. He skated 12:53 - including 1:03 on the power play - and recorded one shot and three hits. 

Dominik Kahun, Buffalo's other Deadline Day acquisition, did not play due to a lower-body injury. He sat out his final two games as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins with the injury. He is day-to-day. 

 

Roll the highlight film

Here's Hutton's save on Nichushkin: 

Video: BUF@COL: Hutton slides across to stone Nichushkin

 

Up next

The road trip continues when the Sabres take on the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday at T-Mobile Arena. That opens up a back-to-back set that concludes on Saturday in Arizona. 

Stay tuned to Sabres.com for coverage of tomorrow's practice in Las Vegas. 

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