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At the Horn: Sabres 1 - Maple Leafs 2 (OT)

Ristolainen scores, Hutton makes 41 saves in road loss

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Carter Hutton stopped 41 of 43 shots on Saturday, but he wasn't able to get all of John Tavares' long-range shot with 3:15 remaining in overtime. That shot proved to be the winner in the Buffalo Sabres' 2-1 loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena.  

Rasmus Ristolainen tied the score midway through the third period as Buffalo was able to earn a point in the second game of the home-and-home series against Toronto. 

Buffalo picked up three points on the weekend after beating the Maple Leafs 6-4 on Friday. 

Jack Eichel extended his point streak to nine games with the primary assist on Ristolainen's goal. He now has 16 points (8+8) during that stretch. Eichel has also totaled 20 points (12+8) in 15 career games against Toronto, including nine (5+4) in eight road games.

What happened

The Maple Leafs capitalized on a power-play opportunity early in the second period for the game's first goal. William Nylander lifted a backhand shot high over Hutton's shoulder while in tight to put Toronto up 1-0 5:30 into the second. 

The Sabres had several great chances to tie it, including a shot by Conor Sheary that looked like it may have gone in, but it was ruled to have not crossed the line after video review. 

Jeff Skinner was denied by Frederik Andersen with 1:29 remaining in the middle frame on a backhand opportunity, and with about 45 seconds left, Victor Olofsson's shot was deflected and hit the crossbar.

Ristolainen was finally able to break the shutout when he walked in and scored on a backhand shot of his own 6:58 into the third period to tie the game. 

The Maple Leafs had a few good chances in the final 30 seconds of regulation, but Hutton came up big to make sure the game went to overtime. With about 12 seconds left, Marco Scandella was able to clear the puck before it crossed the goal line after a shot by Auston Matthews found its way past Hutton. 

Hutton made 39 saves in regulation. 

What it means

The Sabres' record is now 12-10-5 through 27 games and they're 5-7-2 on the road. They're also 2-4 in overtime this season. 

Tonight's game wraps up Buffalo's seventh of 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night. 

The Sabres are now 2-4-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-4-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo's point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (4), one point (0) and zero points (2). They were able to pick up three points this weekend.


Roll the highlight film 

Believe it or not, this was Ristolainen's first career goal against Toronto:

Video: BUF@TOR: Ristolainen slips backhand past Andersen


Up next

It's Founders' Night at KeyBank Center when Buffalo hosts New Jersey on Monday. Tickets are on sale now.

December 2, 1969 was the day the NHL awarded the Knox brothers and the City of Buffalo an expansion franchise so to honor the 50th anniversary of that historic moment, the Buffalo Sabres are celebrating.

Members of Seymour H. Knox III and Northrup R. Knox's families will be welcomed onto the ice as part of a pregame ceremony and special video presentation. Those who served on the original board of directors and their families will also be recognized throughout the night. 

Be in you seats early for that, but make sure you arrive at KeyBank Center before the ceremony for birthday-themed festivities to mark the occasion. 

There will be a pregame happy hour in the main Labatt Blue Zone bar with $5 beer specials, food sampling from various corporate partners, and live music. 

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