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Game Recap

Wild take charge in commanding win

Recap

After suffering a tough 3-2 OT loss at the Winter Classic against the New York Rangers on New Year’s Day, the Sabres traveled to St. Paul, MN. to take on the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.

After losing 5-4 in OT earlier this year in Buffalo, the Sabres were looking for a win to split the season series between these teams.

The Wild played one of their best all-around games of the year, crushing the Sabres, 6-2, and had the upper hand from the opening puck drop.

The Sabres came out tonight sluggish, with Robin Lehner letting in two goals within the game’s first couple minutes, from Nino Niederreiter and Daniel Winnik.

Niederreiter was the most impactful player on the ice, scoring a hat trick within the game’s first 24 minutes, and was the second of his career. In fact, Niederreiter, along with his linemates Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund had standout night, combining for nine points and four of their team’s six goals. Niederreiter and Granlund each led their team with three goals and three assists, respectively.

Despite the Sabres leading in shots on goal 28-24 and also played physical with a 19-8 advantage in the hits column, they struggled where it counted, going 0-for-3 with the man advantage and were unable to build off any momentum with their success on the power play over the last few games as a result.

“Our urgency without the puck was not there tonight.” – Phil Housley.

Once the third period began, Chad Johnson was subbed in for Lehner after having a tough time between the pipes and had a solid period in net for Buffalo, preventing any further goals from piling up.

It seemed from the start of the game that the Sabres could not get anything going, whether on offense or defense as the Wild scored six goals in forty minutes despite their disadvantage in shots.

Although the team struggled tonight, it will not get easier as the Sabres will travel to Winnipeg and face the Jets, one of the top teams in the Western Conference this season. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. at Bell MTS Place.

Scoring

Penalties

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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
Z8254-23-5113
X8250-20-12112
X8249-26-7105
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
Y8249-26-7105
X8247-29-6100
X8242-26-1498
Wild Card leaders:
X8245-30-797
X8244-29-997
-----------------------------------------
8244-30-896
8236-35-1183
8235-37-1080
8234-39-977
8230-39-1373
8229-40-1371
8228-43-1167
8225-45-1262
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
P8253-18-11117
X8252-20-10114
X8245-26-11101
Pacific Division Leaders:
Y8251-24-7109
X8244-25-13101
X8245-27-10100
Wild Card leaders:
X8245-29-898
X8243-30-995
-----------------------------------------
8244-32-694
8242-32-892
8237-35-1084
8236-40-678
8233-39-1076
8231-40-1173
8229-41-1270
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