Score: Sabres 6, Wild 5
Shots: Buffalo: 37 Minnesota: 44
Buffalo Sabres Goals: Victor Olofsson (14,15), Tage Thompson (31), Rasmus Dahlin (11,12), Dylan Cozens (13)
Minnesota Wild Goals: Brandon Duhaime (4), Kirill Kaprizov (23), Ryan Hartman (5), Marcus Foligno (4), Joel Eriksson Ek (14)
Plus 1: Sabres Honor Hamlin
The Buffalo Sabres held a moment of celebration for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, to honor his remarkable recovery after nearly dying at Paycor Stadium while playing against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.
The Sabres previously showed their support for Hamlin by wearing “Love for 3” jerseys when they arrived in D.C. to play the Capitals Tuesday. After the Caps offered a moment of silence before that game, it was great to see the Sabes pay tribute to a fellow Buffalo pro sports player in their home ice matchup.
Plus 2: TNT Ties it Up
Victor Olofsson opened up the scoring 13 minutes into the first period, but the Wild tied it 2:52 into the second. Minnesota widened its lead four minutes later, when Kirill Kaprizov scored a power play goal on a 5-on-3 to make it 2-1 Wild.
With 9:36 left in the second period, Connor Dewar received two minutes for tripping Owen Power. Just seconds into Buffalo’s power play, Tage Thompson got a slap shot past Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to tie it at 2.
WesIsaLeo had the Comment of the Game: “Ol’ Dynamite Hands w/some good news.” It was TNT’s 31st goal this season and his sixth in six games. Thompson is just seven away from tying his record for last season, when he had just 38 goals. It’s only January. Keep it up No. 72.
Plus 3: Dahlin Delivers
Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin scored twice, following up Thompson’s PP slapper with a wrist shot two minutes later to give Buffalo a 3-2 lead. His second goal came late in the third period, when the Sabres were trailing 5-4 and had less than three minutes left to even it up and avoid a loss.
No. 26’s tying goal kept the Sabres in the game and gave them the opportunity to get two points in overtime. Dahlin had two goals, three assists and five points in Buffalo’s victory over Minnesota. He’s already scored 12 this season, one short of his total in 2021-22.
Plus 4: Goalofsson Wins it in OT
Victor Olofsson also got two goals in this matchup, with his initial one putting Buffalo on the board first. Goalofsson’s second crucial game winner came with just 18.3 seconds left in overtime.
After some back and forth and good chances by both teams, Peyton Krebs fed the puck across to Olofsson, who found the back of the net to give the Sabres the win. No. 71’s goal was his 15th so far. The Buffalo forward is certainly living up to his nickname. Let’s hope he continues beating opposing goalies all season long.
The Buffalo Sabres didn’t make this win easy on themselves or make it look easy. Buffalo was forced to battle back, blowing a 4-2 lead in the second period and needing to tie it up at the end of regulation to get two points in OT.
Too often, fans watch the Sabres get ahead early, only to let their opponents back in the game and make their supporters sweat. While it’s gratifying they won this one, the team still needs to work on puck control and playing 60 minutes of consistent hockey. Ugly wins are still wins, but nobody can play from behind and come out on top every time. If Buffalo hopes to end its decade plus playoff drought, discipline will be key.
The Sabres host the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night at KeyBank Center. Puck drop is at 7pm.