Tokarski’s 45 saves help Buffalo Sabres hold off Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Dustin Tokarski stopped a career-high 45 shots as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Tuesday night.
His previous high was 44 saves on April 1. He turned aside 19 shots in the third period alone, when outshot the Sabres 20-3. Tokarski has stopped 78 of the last 81 shots he’s faced.
Buffalo saw second-period goals from Kyle Okposo and Colin Miller for its second win in three games.
Jake Guentzel for Pittsburgh, which lost its third straight game and eight of its last 10. Tristan Jarry made 17 saves for the Penguins, who were coming off back-to-back losses against Ottawa and Washington in which they were outscored by a 12-4 margin.
Guentzel ended Pittsburgh’s lengthy power-play drought at 5:59 of the third period.
Bryan Rust’s pass hit Guentzel’s skate and went behind Tokarski. Sidney Crosby had a secondary assist for his first point of the season.
Miller scored the first goal of the game 28 seconds into the second period on a shot through traffic from the right point.
Okposo gave Buffalo a 2-0 lead at 8:54 of the second period by redirecting a Zemgus Girgensons pass.
Crosby and defenseman Brian Dumoulin will play Thursday when Pittsburgh visits Montreal, but Mike Sullivan cannot coach because of COVID-19 border restrictions in Canada.
Crosby, Dumoulin and Sullivan recently missed five games with COVID-19 before returning Sunday against Washington.
Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt (upper body) and defenseman Henri Jokiharju (lower body) both missed their 14th game, while forward Victor Olofsson (undisclosed) sat out his seventh and goaltender Craig Anderson (upper body) his fifth.
Mittelstadt and Jokiharju both left the team’s opener on Oct. 14. Mittelstadt was the Sabres’ projected top-line center. Olofsson is tied for the team lead with five goals despite missing seven games, while Anderson last played in San Jose on Nov. 2.
Pittsburgh hadn’t scored in its previous 28 power-play opportunities before Guentzel’s goal — a span of nearly nine games.
The Penguins are 5 for 50 this season, which ranks last in the NHL. Pittsburgh ranked fourth in the league with the man advantage last season, converting at a 23.7% clip.
The Sabres won for the third time in their last 11 games against Pittsburgh. but Pittsburgh has 23 wins and points in 26 of its last 30 games against Buffalo dating back to Oct. 5, 2013. The Penguins have 12 wins in their last 15 home games against the Sabres.
Sabres: Host Calgary on Thursday.
Penguins: Visit Montreal on Thursday.