Carter Hutton returns to the Sabres' goal for the first time since December 3 when the Sabres host Arizona Thursday evening at the Key Bank Center. 

Hutton is having a solid season so far as his numbers show. He's got a 12-8-1 record along with a 2.60 GAA and .917 save percentage.

Head coach Phil Housley says Hutton brings an extra dimension to the Sabres net. 

"He's an extremely good puck handler," Housely said. "He really helps our 'D' out. Its been extraordinary where our 'D' are getting back. He's like another defenseman back there for us."  

Hutton's last game was a 2-to-1 loss at Nashville on December third. The Sabres signed him in the off season as a free agent, and he's taking advantage of his opportunity to be the starting goaltender. 

"He's always looking to prove himself," Housley said. "He's always looking for something to prove, he's had to do it his whole career." 

Hutton says when he was younger he might have focused on numbers, but not now. 

"Now honestly my main concern is just winning hockey games," Hutton said. "I think if you win games the rest takes care of itself."

Housley says defenseman Marco Scandella is close to returning to the lineup but not quite there yet. 

"He's progressing well but he's still day to day," Housely said. "I'd like to see him in one more practice. He will not be playing tonight."

Arizona comes to Buffalo riding a three-game losing streak. The Sabres snapped their five-game losing streak with Tuesday's 4-3 overtime win against the LA Kings thanks to an overtime winner from Jeff Skinner. 

"The Coyotes are probably going to have some urgency," Skinner said. "So for us, we're going to have to be prepared for that."

Its a 7pm face off at the Key Bank Center.