The Buffalo Sabres have extended their winning streak to four games, pulling off a 2-1 shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. Conor Sheary had the game-winning goal in the seventh round of the shootout to give Buffalo the extra point.
The Sabres were lucky to escape the first period unscathed after being outshot 12-4 in the opening twenty minutes. The Jets also dominated in the face-off circle in the opening frame, winning 63%. Carter Hutton had to make some big saves to keep Winnipeg off the board.
The Jets were finally rewarded on their 16th shot of the game.
As Marco Scandella got caught up in the play, Winnipeg had a 2-on-1 opportunity against Nathan Beaulieu. With Scandella trying to hustle his way back up, Patrik Laine made the pass over to Kyle Connor, who shot it behind Hutton to make it 1-0.
Midway through the second period, Jeff Skinner took a slash to the wrist from a Jets player. Skinner was clutching his wrist on the bench after the play but returned to the ice several minutes later and took three more shifts in the period.
Despite remaining down by a goal, the Sabres had a much stronger second period. They outshot the Jets 16-8 but failed to capitalize on a couple of power-play opportunities and ultimately headed into the third looking for the equalizer.
Skinner would get Buffalo on the board just 53 seconds into third period on a rebound. The goal extended Skinner’s goal-scoring streak to four games and also marked his 400th NHL point. He now has 14 goals on the season.
The Sabres and Jets remained tied through the last 19 minutes of the game. As the dying seconds ticked off the clock, Buffalo got lucky as a Jets shot rang off the post and came back into the crease right between Hutton’s pads.
Buffalo outshot Winnipeg 10-5 in the third period. Deadlocked at one, the teams headed to overtime. Despite several chances on both sides, including one by captain Jack Eichel, the game ultimately required a shootout to decide.
After Mark Scheifele failed to score on his shot, Eichel put Buffalo ahead. Laine then scored to tie things up. Sam Reinhart & Blake Wheeler then failed to score, putting the game in Casey Mittelstadt’s hands. Mittelstadt hit the crossbar, pushing the shootout to a fourth round.
After Bryan Little and Tage Thompson fails to score, Kyle Connor, who had the Jets’ goal in regulation, scored on a nice move. Jason Pominville then made a sneaky shot to tie it and keep it going. And so it continued: Jack Roslovic, Kyle Okposo and Mathieu Perreault all failed to score.
Conor Sheary then stole the extra point for the Sabres in the shootout, putting Buffalo on a four-game winning streak for the first time since 2014.
The Sabres now face a quick turnaround as they’re back in action on Saturday night, facing the Minnesota Wild for a 6 p.m. puck drop.