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At the Horn: Stars 0 - Sabres 4

Hutton posts shutout as Sabres improve to 5-0-1

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

For the third time in as many games, the Sabres opened the third period of their contest against the Dallas Stars on Monday holding a two-goal lead. 

This time, there was no need for overtime. 

The Sabres kept their foot on the pedal with a pair of third-period goals and went on to earn a 4-0 win over the Stars. At 5-0-1, it's the first time the team has earned points in six straight contests to open a campaign since going 6-0-2 at the start of the 2008-09 season. 

Carter Hutton stopped 25 for his first shutout with the Sabres and his fourth win in as many starts this season. 

Victor Olofsson tallied a goal and an assist for the third multi-point game of his career. Sam Reinhart, Jeff Skinner, and Marcus Johansson also scored for the Sabres, while Jack Eichel tallied a pair of helpers to bring his team-leading point total to nine.


What happened

After the two teams traded unsuccessful power plays in the first period, Olofsson opened the scoring at 6:27 of the second with the Sabres on the man advantage. The rookie's team-leading fifth goal of the season looked a lot like those that preceded it - a rifle from the right circle, fed by Rasmus Dahlin.

Olofsson fed Reinhart to double the Sabres' lead with 2:04 remaining in the period. The play began with a long stretch pass from Marco Scandella to Eichel, who fed Olofsson as he crossed the blue line. Olofsson dished a backhand pass to set up Reinhart's one-time shot from the high slot. 

The forward line of Skinner, Marcus Johansson, and Vladimir Sobotka grabbed the torch in the third. Skinner buried a feed from Sobotka on the rush at 4:20 of the period, then Johansson buried a shot from high in the offensive zone 1:42 later. 

Hutton, meanwhile, was steady for the entirety of his 12th career shutout. His night included point-blank stops against Stars forwards Justin Dowling and Radek Faksa, both of which came during a tightly contested second period. 


What it means

Following their home-opening win over the New Jersey Devils earlier this month, players spoke about wanting to make KeyBank Center a difficult place to play on a nightly basis. 

So far, so good. The Sabres are undefeated through four games on home ice as they embark on their first extended road trip of the season, which begins Wednesday in Anaheim. The last time they won their first four home games of a season was 2006-07. 

It was also a rebound performance for the Buffalo power play, which entered the game having produced a league-leading eight goals this season but went 0-for-4 against Florida on Friday. Olofsson became the first player in NHL history to score his first seven goals with the extra man, a run that dates back to the end of last season. 

Tweet from @SabresPR: Since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019 vs. Detroit, no NHL player has scored more power-play goals than Olofsson���s seven in 12 games played.His five power-play goals this season tie James Neal for the league lead.

Lastly, the victory put an end to a five-game winless streak against the Stars and a 12-game winless streak against Ben Bishop, who shut out the Sabres twice last season. The Sabres' four goals came on 22 shots against Bishop, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season. 


Roll the Highlight Film 

Yes, you've seen Olofsson pick the corner from the right circle plenty of times already. Yes, it's OK that you want to watch it again. 

Video: DAL@BUF: Olofsson blasts one-timer for PPG


Up next

The Sabres open their three-game California road trip in Anaheim on Wednesday. Pregame coverage on MSG begins at 9:30 p.m., or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops at 10. 

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