The juggled Sabres lineup got off to a good start in the first on the Wild. They carried the play for the first 15 minutes or so of the opening period. The home team got on the board early thank you to a lazy penalty by Matt Hendricks.
The Sabres power play finally managed to come through. However, it wasn’t the re-vamped top power play unit. Instead it was the second unit with the goal off the stick of Evan Rodrigues. He beat Devan Dubnyk over the shoulder with a nice wrist shot to make it 1-0.
Minnesota would put some pressure on later in the period, but Linus Ullmark made a few nice saves. Including a great cartwheel stop on old friend Marcus Foligno.
After 20 minutes the Sabres held a 1-0 lead and 11-10 advantage in shots on goal.
The ice was flipped the other way in the second period. Minnesota was the superior team throughout. They tied the game early in the second as Jared Spurgeon beat Zemgus Girgensons to the front of the net.
Just under two minutes later, the Sabres took the lead back on a beautiful pass by Sam Reinhart to C.J. Smith for a lay up.
They looked to take control of the game again when Rasmus Dahlin scored their second power play goal of the game with a wrist shot from the point.
In classic Sabres fashion, the Wild got a goal back just over two minutes later. Spurgeon beat Ullmark to the post to make it 3-2. Then near the end of the period after an extended shift in the Sabres end, Charlie Coyle knotted things up at three after 40 minutes.
The Sabres were outshot 19-11 in the middle frame.
Early on in the third period, Phil Housley made some changes to his lines. He put Skinner, Eichel, and Pominville back together. As well as made Sheary, Mittelstadt, and Reinhart his second line.
The Sabres got back in front again early in the third period. Jake McCabe spotted Reinhart at the back door and made a beautiful pass to give his team a 4-3 lead.
Both clubs exchanged chances throughout the period, but the Sabres looked to be headed towards a much needed two points. However, the Wild tied things up again late. Zach Parise hammered home a rebound to tie it at four and send the game to overtime.
Overtime was entertaining as both teams had their chances again. The Wild also got away with one, maybe two penalties in the extra frame.
Onto the shootout we went and Ullmark stopped all three Wild shooters. As it should be on a night like tonight, Reinhart was the only goal scorer in the shootout. Giving the Sabres a much needed 5-4 win, with the Carolina Hurricanes coming to town on Thursday.
Final: Sabres 5, Wild 4 (SO)
Shots on Goal: Sabres 39 | Wild 45
Sabres Goal Scorers: Evan Rodrigues (7) (PPG), C.J. Smith (2), Rasmus Dahlin (4) (PPG), and Sam Reinhart (13)
Wild Goal Scorers: Jared Spurgeon (9, 10), Charlie Coyle (10), and Parise (21)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Sam Reinhart (1 G, 1 A)
2. Linus Ullmark (41 saves on 45 shots)
3. Jared Spurgeon (2 G)