Buffalo Sabres bring a four game winning streak into Minnesota

WINNIPEG, MB - NOVEMBER 16: Zach Bogosian #4 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates with goaltender Carter Hutton #40 following a 2-1 shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on November 16, 2018 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, MB - NOVEMBER 16: Zach Bogosian #4 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates with goaltender Carter Hutton #40 following a 2-1 shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on November 16, 2018 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Another comeback, another Jeff Skinner goal, another big performance from Carter Hutton, and another win as the Buffalo Sabres captured a big road win on Friday night in Winnipeg.

Heading into today’s matchup with the Minnesota Wild, the Buffalo Sabres are riding a four game winning streak. The streak is the Sabres’ longest winning streak since December 2014. The Sabres are now 11-6-2 going into their 20th game which has the club in solid playoff contention as they are currently in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division.

The star of the game for the Sabres was goaltender Carter Hutton. Hutton has won all 4 games of the winning streak after losing 3 straight starts. In the 4 wins, Hutton has only allowed 5 goals and he has a .950 save percentage.

Last night’s victory was the 8th win for the season for Hutton which is good for 5th in the NHL. Although he has been hot, I think it is a safe assumption that Linus Ullmark will be in net against the Wild considering Hutton’s recent workload. Ullmark is coming off of his worst start of the season against the Montreal Canadiens although the Sabres did win the game.

Another bright spot for the Buffalo Sabres is the Jeff Skinner – Jack Eichel combo. The two combined for yet another goal last night, this time on the power play in the 3rd period to tie the game at 1-1.

Jeff Skinner now has 14 goals which is good for 2nd in the league behind David Pastrnak. Skinner’s 11 even strength goals leads the NHL. Jack Eichel recorded his 16th assist which keeps him in the top 10 in the league. Both Skinner and Eichel continue to be on pace for the best season of their career.

Sam Reinhart also continues to play well. Although he did not record a point last night, Reinhart still has 7 points in his last 6 games. Sam Reinhart looks great since joining the Skinner-Eichel line and Reinhart had a CF% over 60% last night in over 20 minutes of ice time.

The only negative from last night is the continued poor play of Tage Thompson. I was an advocate of Thompson getting more playing time but he has definitely under-performed since returning to the lineup. Thompson had a turnover which led to the Jets’ only goal and again had negative possession numbers. Zemgus Girgensons, Patrik Berglund, and Evan Rodrigues have all been scratched to give Thompson playing time but I think it is time for Thompson to work on his game in Rochester.

Regardless of the result of today’s game against the Wild, this season’s 20 game start is one of the best starts to a season in Buffalo Sabres franchise history. We haven’t seen a Sabres team play this consistently well since the 2005-06 campaign.

Today’s game is at 6:00 and can be seen on MSG and heard on WGR 550. As a reminder, the Sabres are 5-1 in games on Saturdays and are 9-0-0 when Sam Reinhart registers a point.

Next. Nathan Beaulieu Could Be Trade Bait For Buffalo Sabres. dark