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Game Recap

Wild take charge in commanding win

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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

DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
A4631-12-365
A4527-10-862
A4826-17-557
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
M4828-15-561
M4524-13-856
M4726-18-355
Wild Card leaders:
M4723-16-854
M4824-19-553
-----------------------------------------
M4925-21-353
M4824-20-452
M4721-18-850
A4519-20-644
A4719-22-644
A4518-20-743
A4415-20-939
A4611-26-931
DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
C4828-13-763
C4528-11-662
C4928-18-359
Pacific Division Leaders:
P4631-11-466
P4626-14-658
P4725-16-657
Wild Card leaders:
C4827-17-458
C4627-16-357
-----------------------------------------
C4826-17-557
P4725-17-555
P4822-17-953
C4722-19-650
P4721-23-345
P4718-23-642
P4912-28-933