The Buffalo Sabres scored twice in the first 5:20 of their game Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings, establishing early that they were prepared to bounce back from a tough loss the night before.
Carter Hutton made 47 saves in the 3-0 win at Staples Center to record his second-straight shutout and set the franchise record for most saves in a regular-season shutout. Casey Mittelstadt recorded two goals and an assist, marking both the first multi-goal game and three-point night of his career.
Conor Sheary, in his first game back after missing the past four contests with an upper-body injury, added a goal, and Jimmy Vesey, their linemate, chipped in an assist for his point as a Sabre.
How it happened
Buffalo wasted no time in getting off to an early lead.
Just 2:36 into the game, Mittelstadt scored his first when he and Vesey won a battle along the boards and forced the puck into the Kings' zone. Vesey then found Mittelstadt for a one-timer from the left faceoff circle to beat goaltender Jack Campbell.
Then at the 5:20 mark, Sheary made it 2-0 when he connected on a great cross-ice pass from Mittelstadt on the rush for his third goal of the season.
Mittelstadt made it 3-0 when he potted a power-play goal 2:32 into the second period. He redirected a pass in front from Rasmus Ristolainen.
Hutton, meanwhile, was rock solid in net for Buffalo. Here's one example of how he did his part to earn the two points:
Video: BUF@LAK: Hutton denies Martinez from the slot
What it means
The Sabres' goaltenders have been on a pretty good run so far this year. Whether it's been Hutton or Linus Ullmark between the pipes, getting quality goaltending hasn't been something Buffalo has had to worry about in this young season.
Hutton earned his first shutout as a member of the Sabres in his last game on Monday against Dallas and he has now gone 128:36 without allowing a goal.
According to @SabresPR, he is 2:15 shy of his best career streak (set from Feb. 16 to March 3, 2017). His career-high for saves in a shutout is 48, set on Dec. 16, 2017 when he was with St. Louis.
And from a team standpoint, Buffalo improves to 6-1-1 on the year. On Wednesday in Anaheim, the Ducks took control of the game late in the first period and carried the play through the second period to a 5-2 victory. The Sabres didn't allow that to happen against the Kings and rebounded in a big way.
Roll the highlight film
Sheary's goal was nice…
Video: BUF@LAK: Sheary wires one-timer past Campbell
…But let's talk more about the way Rob Ray entered the building tonight, doing that thing you do with your headphones when you don't want anyone to talk to you. It's tough to listen to music or a podcast when you leave your phone on the bus.
Video: Rob Ray's confident walk into Staples Center
The Sabres will travel to San Jose where they'll take on the Sharks on Saturday. It's a 10:30 p.m. faceoff from SAP Center. Catch the Buick Game Night pregame show at 10 p.m. on MSG.
Buffalo's next home game is set for Tuesday when the Sharks come East for a 7 p.m. faceoff at KeyBank Center. Tickets for the game are on sale now.