BUFFALO, N.Y. — Sam Reinhart scored three times, including a game-sealing empty-netter, and the Buffalo Sabres avoided a third-period collapse and beat the Boston Bruins 6-4 on Friday night.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 36 shots in his NHL debut, and the Sabres ended the Bruins’ season-best six-game winning streak.
Boston scored three times in a 5-minute, 6-second span, capped by Taylor Hall’s centering pass deflecting in off Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s stick with 2:48 remaining that cut the Sabres' lead to 5-4.
Reinhart secured the win by scoring into an empty net with 42 seconds left.
Luukonen has played the majority of his season in Rochester, so interim Sabres coach Don Granato hasn't seen much of the 6-foot-4, 220-pound netminder from Finland much, but he's intrigued by his size and ability.
"So, to the quick eye test, he's been fun to watch and see. I'm like anybody else. We all are, we're waiting," he said before the game. "We're excited to see him at the next level, this level, the next step.
"We waited a couple days, obviously, to have him here, to acclimate to his surrounding as much as he could. We're playing the same opponent again, so he's been able to watch them. He's had the time to prepare for this, which is better, I think. Like anyone else, I'm excited to see him in net."
Luukkonen was the Sabres' 2017 second-round pick in the NHL Draft and will get his chance after Dustin Tokarski started the previous night in a 5-1 loss to the Bruins. The Sabres' top two goalies, Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton, are both out with lower body injuries.