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Sabres let point slip away in OT loss to Flames

Hutton loses shutout with 55.3 seconds remaining in regulation

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

In the end, it took 36 shots and three bounces for the Calgary Flames to beat Carter Hutton. 

The Sabres goaltender was within a minute of completing a shutout when Elias Lindholm wound up and shot from the top of the left faceoff circle at KeyBank Center on Tuesday night. The shot changed direction three times: off the stick of Rasmus Ristolainen, then off the ice and finally off the stick of Matthew Tkachuk and into the net, up over Hutton's shoulder.

Tkachuk's goal tied the game with 55.3 seconds remaining in regulation. The Sabres were unsuccessful on a power play to begin overtime, setting the table for Johnny Gaudreau to score and clinch a 2-1 win for the Flames. 

Just getting to overtime extended Buffalo's point streak to five games, but that was no consolation after a second straight loss. The members of their leadership group who spoke afterward felt they got the result they deserved. 

"It's not very shocking, we didn't play very well," Hutton said. "I don't know. I thought we [were] outplayed. We obviously had a one-goal lead, couldn't find a way to get it done. It's not too shocking when you don't get pucks out of your zone late. Teams make you pay."

Video: POSTGAME: Housley

Jack Eichel scored the lone goal for Buffalo with 3:30 remaining in the first period, his fourth of the season and 12th point in as many games. It began to look like that goal might have been enough given the play of Hutton, who produced his own highlight reel to preserve the lead until the final minute. 

The goaltender lunged to make a diving stick save on a point-blank shot from Lindholm early in the second period. The rebound found its way through, but not until after a whistle was blown.

Video: CGY@BUF: Hutton reaches to make incredible stick save

Earlier in the game, he squared up to stop a one-time shot from the slot by Sean Monahan. 

Video: CGY@BUF: Hutton denies Monahan's big one-timer

And so on. He had little chance on either of the goals that beat him, with Gaudreau's overtime winner coming on the return pass of a 2-on-1 rush. 

"I just feel bad for him," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "He's really given us some really good, solid goaltending and been asked to stand on his head. It's unfortunate, because even though we didn't play up to our capability and it was sloppy, and we looked slow at times, we were disconnected, we didn't play as a team, he still gave us an opportunity."


The Sabres benefitted from a 5-for-5 night on the penalty kill, improving to 12-for-12 in their last four games. Marco Scandella and Johan Larsson led all skaters with 6:52 and 6:44 of shorthanded ice time, respectively. 

But penalties also disrupted the flow of the game. The Sabres were outshot 38-25 overall and 9-5 in the third period. 

"I thought we just sat back a little too much maybe," Eichel said. "Obviously, they had a good push, but I just didn't think we played good enough. I thought there wasn't enough compete and enough fire. We were sloppy. 

"I thought at times we were OK in the O-zone, but I thought we relied on our goalie too much."


Pominville ties Gare

Video: CGY@BUF: Eichel roofs wrist shot from the circle

Jason Pominville earned the lone assist on Eichel's goal, extending his point streak to five games (4+5) and marking his 500th point as a Sabre. That ties Danny Gare for ninth in franchise history, with Mike Foligno up next at 511. 

It's the latest in what's been a season of milestones for Pominville, and he's not done yet. The forward is one game shy of 1,000 for his career. 


Up next

The Sabres will hit the road to begin a home-and-home set with the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday. If he dresses, it will be Pominville's 1,000th regular season game. Coverage on MSG-B begins at 7 p.m. with the GMC Game Night pregame show, or you can listen on WGR 550. 

The Sabres return to KeyBank Center to host the Senators at 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

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