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Sabers ties the franchise record with 10 wins in a row – The Buffalo News



The chants began moments after Buffalo Sabers defender Nathan Beaulieu made a pass to the net once for a two-goal lead in the third period.

"We want 10," shouted the KeyBank Center crowd in unison on Tuesday night.

The swords delivered. Jeff Skinner scored 1:41 in overtime and Carter Hutton made 36 saves to beat the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, for the third streak of 10 straight wins in franchise history and the first since 2006-07.

Skinner scored when San Jose goalkeeper Martin Jones left the fold to push a loose record, allowing Skinner to grab the record and beat Jones for his 19th goal of the season.

The Sabers, 17-6-2 with 36 points, have not lost since November 4 against the New York Rangers, and one more win would give them the franchise's first 11-game winning streak. They now have a record of 11-0-2 in scoring first and 9-2-1 at home, en route to their best record since 1979-80.

The sharks center, Joe Pavelski, scored in a slap hit on a pass 11:29 in the third period and again at 4:42 pm to tie the score with a wraparound for a power play goal, erasing the lead of two goals of the Sabers.

Buffalo defender Rasmus Ristolainen scored 14:42 in the second period, when he ran down the left wing, passed between his own legs and skated around former Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns to beat Martin Jones. After eliminating the penalty of Rasmus Dahlin 1:35 in the third, Buffalo increased its lead when Beaulieu made a backdoor pass from Sam Reinhart to the open net.

Rasmus Ristolainen marks and celebrates, and Twitter goes crazy

The Sabers were overcome again, 38-31, and could not capitalize on their only game of power. They also eliminated the first three power games of San Jose, only to allow one for the goal of a draw. Hutton has won eight consecutive starts and has 12 in his first season with the Sabers.

Fight: The Sharks almost tied the score 1:35 in the third period, when the extreme Timo Meier rushed to find a loose disc and was caught by Rasmus Dahlin. Meier got enough of the puck to pass Joe Pavelski near the crease, and Pavelski's shot went under Hutton.

In the end, Hutton found a way to prevent the disc from entering.

Another key save: Despite scoring only once, the second period was one of the best of the Sabers. They also beat San Jose, 9-8, but they did a better job of owning the puck and limiting the chances of the Sharks. It was the kind of defensive performance Buffalo needed after the Sharks used their speed to beat the defenders in the first period.

Hutton rescued the Sabers when an error was made. His glove, except at the end of San Jose Barclay Goodrow with 9.1 seconds remaining in the second period, kept the closure intact.

Strange celebration Ristolainen's goal challenged logic. It is assumed that defenders should not pass the puck between their legs and skate around the best in the league before scoring a goal at a prominent moment. However, that is exactly what Ristolainen did to Burns.

Ristolainen then celebrated turning the leaf of his rod and acted as if he had sheathed it on his hip.

Close the call: Taking advantage of his success in Detroit, Tage Thompson almost scored with a 3-on-2 run in the second period, when Dahlin found him with a pass in the offensive zone, but Jones saved. Thompson tripped two minutes later when he was burned by Burns, but was not sanctioned.

Power game problems: The Sabers had two shots on goal during a power play in the second period and Kyle Okposo missed another attempt. San Jose entered the game and killed 53 of his 56 previous penalties.

Even first: The Sharks outscored the Sabers, 13-7, in the first period, but Buffalo was not beaten in the first 20 minutes.

Casey Mittelstadt found Okposo with a centering pass almost nine minutes into the periods, although Okposo could not get a shot at the top of the fold. Hutton beat his opponent with a glove saved at 17:31, when Marcus Sorenson, forward of the Sharks, received a pass near the top of the crease.

Welcome: Evander Kane, who played his first game at KeyBank Center since being traded to the Sharks last February, received a message on the video board over central ice. The brief message caused a slight applause from the crowd, but Kane received a mixed response on his return.

There were some boos when Kane touched the puck, although they were not as loud as the cheers. Playing on the top line of the Sharks, Kane tried to impose his will early and even knocked Mittelstadt between the banks in the first period.

Pilut Flight: Defender Lawrence Pilut is back with the Sabers after being sent back to the Rochester Americans on Friday. Pilut, 22, was called on Tuesday afternoon because Marco Scandella was not available to play against the Sharks. During a pre-game interview on WGR Radio, general manager Jason Botterill did not give a reason for the start delay.

With Scandella out, Casey Nelson was paired with Nathan Beaulieu.

Following: The Sabers will practice on Wednesday at 11 a.m. before leaving for a three-game road trip, starting with Tampa Bay. They will play the Rayo at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Buffalo Sabers 3, San Jose Sharks 2 in OT

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