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Sabres Outshoot, Outscore the Wild to Win

Buffalo Beats Minnesota to Open a Two-Game Streak

Minnesota Wild v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Score: Sabres 5, Wild 4

Shots: BUF: 38 MIN: 33

Buffalo Sabres: Goals: Casey Mittelstadt (1), Kyle Okposo (1), Jeff Skinner (2), Victor Olofsson (1)

Minnesota Wild: Goals: Ryan Hartman (1), Kevin Fiala (1), Kirill Kaprizov (2)

Plus 1: Mittelstadt Makes It Happen

Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt has endured a tough and disappointing season until recently. He suffered two long-term injuries and as a result, hasn’t had a lot of ice time. So it was wonderful to see Mittelstadt get that opening goal on a Sabres power play in the first period. What made it even sweeter was the goal came after the Sabres were playing their usual pass the puck, let’s look for the perfect shot during most of the PP. Mittelstadt saw his chance and shot the puck in the left side of the net in the waning seconds of the power play to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.

Plus 2: Sabres Score on Power Plays

The Buffalo Sabres rank 19th in the NHL on power plays, with a 19.59 percentage. The Sabres have long had a weakness with the man advantage. Buffalo scored two of their five goals in this game on the power play, and those made the difference in the win-loss column. If the Sabres can continue to take advantage of PP opportunities, the team will win many more games going forward.

Plus 3: Skinner Saves the Day

Bdonaghu had the Comment of the Game: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$kinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sabres Fan 70 had the runner up: $$$$$$$$kinner.

The Sabres entered the 3rd period with a 2-1 lead, and had an overlapping power play opportunity between periods that, unlike the first two, they failed to take advantage of. 3:20 into the third, Wild LW Kevin Fiala shot the puck into the net to tie the game 2-2. Less than two minutes later, Kirill Kaprizov scored again on a Robert Hagg holding penalty to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead. The Sabres had blown another lead, and were looking at another come from behind loss, until Jeff Skinner tied the game at the 12:20 mark of the period. Incredibly, Skinner scored again four minutes later to make it 4-3 Buffalo. Skinner’s two goals were the turning point of the game and they gave Buffalo’s long suffering fans something to cheer about.

Final Thoughts

The Buffalo Sabres have been playing very aggressively and showing a strong level of consistent, disciplined play in their last two games. They completely dominated the Leafs on the road in Toronto, and they bested the Wild at home, beating Minnesota for the second time this season. If the Sabres continue to play the way they have going forward, Buffalo will end the season much higher in the standings.

The Sabres host the L.A. Kings for a Sunday matinee matchup at 1:00PM on March 6th.