Sabres, struggling goalie take on Ducks
Buffalo Sabres at Anaheim Ducks
- The Sabres have earned points in three straight games against the Ducks (2-0-1) after going 1-6-0 in the previous seven meetings (dating back to 2013-14). The Ducks once had a nine-game winless streak against Buffalo (1999-2004) but have also had a pair of four-game winning streaks versus the Sabres.
Carter Hutton ought to be feeling pressure to perform well when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday evening at Staples Center.
Hutton is set to make his seventh start in goal for the Sabres and he has been subpar in his past three outings.
Meanwhile, backup goalie Linus Ullmark made 20 saves in a 5-1 victory at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday afternoon. Ullmark had 36 saves in his other start this season, a 3-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 13.
Hutton is 0-3-0 in his past three appearances, allowing 13 goals on 96 shots for an .865 save percentage.
Buffalo (4-4-0) hasn't provided much cushion for Hutton either, scoring one goal in each of his past three starts.
The Sabres adjusted their lines and that seemed to make a difference against the Kings.
Jeff Skinner and Jason Pominville moved onto the top line with center Jack Eichel and Skinner had his fifth career hat trick in the win.
Pominville added a goal and two assists to become the third player from the 2001 NHL Draft class with 700 points. He had just one assist in the first seven games.
"I thought the line played pretty well," Skinner told MSG Network after the game. "I thought (Pominville and Eichel) did a great job working down low. I think a majority of our offense was created off the cycle."
Skinner had one of his hat tricks in Anaheim while a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. He scored three goals in a 5-1 victory on Dec. 11, 2015.
Sutton has made four career appearances against Anaheim, owning a 1-2-1 record, 3.00 goals-against average and .888 save percentage.
The Ducks (5-2-1) are expected to start goalie Ryan Miller after John Gibson played Saturday night in a 3-1 loss at the Vegas Golden Knights.
Miller played for Buffalo from 2002 to 2014 and remains the franchise leader in several career categories, including games played by a goalie (540), minutes (33,661) and wins (284).
Miller made his only other start this season on Sunday at the St. Louis Blues, saving 29 of 31 shots in the 3-2 victory.
The Ducks have been known as a physically intimidating team in the past. They've had to take a step back as they infuse younger players into the lineup, but Skinner said the Sabres will be ready if Anaheim wants to play that style.
Kyle Okposo and Zach Bogosian stood up to the Kings on Saturday.
"We have sort of that mentality that we're all going to stick up for one another, which is a nice feeling," Skinner said.
The first goal has been huge in games involving the Sabres this season. The team that has taken a 1-0 lead has led the rest of the way in all eight games.
The Ducks plan to retire the jersey of Paul Kariya before the game.
Updated October 21, 2018