Carter Hutton and the Buffalo Sabres got their first win out of the way against the New York Rangers on Saturday night. Their next test is a date with the reigning Western Conference champions.
Hutton will make his third-straight start when the Sabres host the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday afternoon. The goaltender made 43 saves in the win against New York, the second-highest mark of his career (trailing a 48-save performance against Winnipeg on Dec. 16, 2017).
It's a promising start to Hutton's first campaign as a No. 1 at the NHL level. He served in backup roles during his first five seasons, never appearing in more than 40 games.
"You look at the way he's climbed up in the NHL," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "He's mainly been in the backup role and now he's been put to the forefront. It's a different kind of mindset that he has, and he's got to regain that focus.
"When he's playing, he's a really focused individual. But it says a lot about him and his work ethic to get to where he's gotten."
Video: PREGAME: Housley
Forwards Vladimir Sobotka (upper body) and Johan Larsson (lower body) skated on Monday morning but will not play. The lineup will remain the same as it was against New York.
The Golden Knights earned their first win of the season on Saturday as well, 2-1 over Minnesota. Max Pacioretty scored his first goal with the team to tie the game with 1:31 remaining in regulation and Erik Haula scored the winning tally in a shootout.
Pacioretty is skating on a line centered by Vegas' other major offseason acquisition, Paul Stastny.
Video: GAME PREVIEW: VGK at BUF
"It's going to be a tremendous challenge," Housley said. "That's a very good hockey team, you look up and down their lineup, and they've got good goaltending. So it's a great challenge for us. It's good to get a win so guys know that they can win now, and now we've got to just play our game.
"I think when we can play our game and control the game, we're a very good hockey team. But when we make bad decisions and we have to defend too much, it looks like we're a slow team. So, we've got to continue with that fast-paced, smart hockey."
Coverage on MSG-B begins at 2:30 p.m. with the GMC Game Night Pregame Show, or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops at 3 p.m.
43 Conor Sheary - 9 Jack Eichel - 23 Sam Reinhart
53 Jeff Skinner - 10 Patrik Berglund - 21 Kyle Okposo
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 37 Casey Mittelstadt - 72 Tage Thompson
81 Remi Elie - 71 Evan Rodrigues - 29 Jason Pominville
6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
19 Jake McCabe - 26 Rasmus Dahlin
82 Nathan Beaulieu - 8 Casey Nelson
40 Carter Hutton
35 Linus Ullmark