Sabres Beat Jets 2-1 in Shootout for Fourth Straight Win

Sabres Beat Jets 2-1 in Shootout for Fourth Straight Win

By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

Dustin Byfuglien - Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien (33) battles in front of Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton (40) during second period NHL game action in Winnipeg, Friday, November 16, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Halstead)

WINNIPEG – It’s not only a four-game winning streak that’s boosting the confidence of Jeff Skinner and the Buffalo Sabres. It’s also about the teams they’re beating.

Conor Sheary put a high shot past Jets backup goalie Laurent Brossoit in the seventh round of the shootout as the Sabres edged the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Friday.

Skinner tied the game 1-1 early in the third period on the power play for the Sabres (11-6-2), extending his goal-scoring streak to four games with his 14th of the season. He has five goals in that span that includes victories over Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Montreal.

“It should give us some confidence,” Skinner said when asked specifically about the last two wins over the Jets and Lightning.

“It definitely gives us some confidence in Hutts (goalie Carter Hutton). I don’t think we wanna ask that much of him every night, but he’s been huge the last two games.”

Hutton, who’s played all the games in the winning streak, stopped 25 of Winnipeg’s shots.

Kyle Connor scored his ninth goal for the Jets (11-5-2), who had a three-game winning run halted. Connor’s second-period goal gave him three goals and two assists in his past four outings.

“Yeah I think each game I’ve grown and really taking strides to be a more consistent player day in and day out,” Connor said. “I think that’s what makes great players in this league great, bringing it every single night.”

Brossoit made 31 saves in his fourth start (3-0-1) of the season.

“I thought we carried the play most of the way and they potted one and it gave them a bit of a surge, some momentum,” Brossoit said. “We weathered the storm and then both teams played good defence.”

The Jets outshot the visitors 12-4 in the first period, which featured a few solid saves from both netminders.

Buffalo head coach Phil Housley said Hutton made some “huge” stops early.

“I think we just gave them a little too much respect,” Housley said. “We settled in the second, got our legs underneath us. We starting shooting pucks, getting pucks to the net and it created a lot for us.”

After Dustin Byfuglien rang a shot off the post, Connor scored on a 2-on-1 with Patrik Laine at 7:10 of the second. Laine later forced a turnover near Buffalo’s net, but his shot went off the post.

“I like that line,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said. “I liked Patty’s game an awful lot. There was a little bit of physicality, some directness, he cracked a post or two. So those were good signs for him.

“I think over the last two games, maybe (goalie) Connor Hellebuyck last game, Kyle Connor’s been the best player on the ice for me. He’s just been fantastic. There’s some chemistry on that line. I like it a lot.”

Later in the period, Brossoit made a near-costly move when he came out to play a loose puck and swiped it into the outside of his goal post.

“It was a set play,” Brossoit joked. “I bounce it off the side of the net and then (Josh Morrissey) can take it from there. They’re not going to expect something like that.”

The Sabres went on a power play with 19 seconds left in the second period after Jets forward Brandon Tanev was called for holding. They capitalized 53 seconds in the third when a rebound bounced around a scramble in the crease and Skinner shovelled in a backhand past Brossoit.

Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler had his point streak end at 11 games (two goals, 18 assists).

The Jets begin a four-game road trip Monday in Vancouver. Buffalo finishes a back-to-back set Saturday in Minnesota.

CP - The Canadian Press

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