It looked bleak with under five minutes left and then the Sabres turned up the heat on the Wild. The Sabres scored twice in the final four minutes and eventually won a goal by Derek Roy in overtime. The Wild had only allowed 10 goals on the season before the Sabres scored three times in less than five minutes.
The Sabres played their best first period since last week against the Vancouver Canucks and scored the games first goal. Drew Stafford scored his second goal in as many games to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead. The Wild outshot the Sabres 10-9 in the first but Buffalo was the better team through one period.
The second period was all Will, all the time. They thoroughly controlled play and were rewarded by two goals to take a 2-1 lead. The Wild goals were scored by Benoit Pouliot and Stephane Veilleux. The Wild outshot Buffalo 15-9 but I would like to know where the nine shots came from. The Sabres looked lost for most of the second period.
Jaro Spacek began the third period in the box and Ryan Miller made the Sabres pay. Yep that's right Ryan Miller...he was trying to clear the puck and was pressured by Brent Burns, in order to relieve the pressure he shot the puck into his own net. The Wild seemed to gain momentum after that goal and poured the pressure on Miller who made some amazing saves to keep his team in the game. With only four minutes left Nathan Paetsch wristed a seemingly harmless shot towards the net and Adam Mair tipped it by Backstrom. Just 46 seconds later Thomas Vanek netted his eighth goal of the season to tie the score at three.
It took the Sabres only 44 seconds into overtime to beat Backstrom for the victory. Henrik Tallinder made a great play, skating the puck into the zone and behind the net. Tallinder flipped it out front to Roy who directed towards Backstrom who appeared to make the save but a scrum in front knocked the puck loose and into the net.
The Sabres should not be proud of their overall effort but they should be happy with the outcome. After a quick start for the Sabres the Wild took control and seemed to have the game in hand until the final push by the Sabres. The Wild outshot the Sabres 33-24 in the game and were the better team for most of the game. Despite his "own goal" Miller was named the first star and rightfully so, he stopped 30 out of 33 shots and made plenty of outstanding saves along the way.
The Sabres will now travel to Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night at 9PM. For an early look at the Avalanche head over to Mile High Hockey and say hi.
To read about the Wild collapse check out Hockey Wilderness