Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (41 saves) helps Sabres best Knights

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made a career-high 41 saves, including one on a penalty shot, and Tage Thompson notched a goal in his fourth consecutive game to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night in Las Vegas.

It was Luukkonen’s fourth win in his last five starts.

Jeff Skinner and Lawrence Pilut also scored goals for Buffalo, which won its fourth straight game and completed a sweep of a three-game Western road trip.

Reilly Smith and Chandler Stephenson scored for Vegas, which lost for the sixth time in its last seven home games. The Western Conference-leading Golden Knights, who are 14-2-1 on the road, dropped to 8-9-0 at home this season. Adin Hill finished with 15 saves.

After a scoreless first period, Buffalo took a 3-0 lead in the second.

Skinner started the scoring at the 1:53 mark when he took an Alex Tuch crossing pass at the edge of the left circle and fired a wrist shot past Hill’s blocker side for his 16th goal of the season.

Thompson made it 2-0 with a highlight reel curl-and-drag shot from the low slot, where he patiently snapped a wrist shot past Hill’s blocker side for his 26th goal of the season. It also was Thompson’s 12th goal and 21st point in nine December games.

Pilut extended the lead to 3-0 with his first goal of the season when he slapped a shot from the left point over Hill’s glove and off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net. It was Pilut’s second career goal and first since Jan. 8, 2019.

Stephenson cut it to 3-1 at the 3:54 mark of the third period with a breakaway goal, sliding a forehand shot through Luukkonen’s pads for his eighth goal of the season.

Vegas had a chance to cut the deficit to one goal with 6:57 remaining when Kyle Okposo dove and tripped Jonathan Marchessault as he was cutting toward the net and Marchessault was awarded a penalty shot. But Luukkonen made a pad save on Marchessault’s try from the right side of the goal.

The Golden Knights pulled Hill for an extra attacker with 2:43 left and Smith scored his 17th goal of the season on a wrist shot through traffic from the top of the right circle to make it 3-2. However, Luukkonen turned away three more shots after that to seal the win.

–Field Level Media

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