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Sabres Force Overtime Late; Win 3-2 in Minnesota



Buffalo Sabres Minnesota Wild game recap

Dylan Cozens was the last-minute hero, and Henri Jokiharju capped things off as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in overtime. It was a fun, fast-paced game throughout most of 61 and a half minutes, with both goalies strong in the early going. The Wild gained then squandered the lead in the third period, allowing the Sabres to earn two points with the victory.

After two whole scoreless periods, Casey Mittelstadt got things started on a two-on-one rush early in the third. Less than four minutes later, Kirill Kaprizov rushed into Buffalo’s end and left the puck out in front of the net. Joel Eriksson Ek was the first man to the puck and was able to poke it home.

Then, at the tail end of a Connor Clifton double minor, Declan Chisholm’s point shot had eyes for the back of the net and found its way through.

The Wild lead led to the desperation pull of Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen in favor of the extra attacker. Tage Thompson wristed a shot to the net, and Jordan Greenway and Dylan Cozens dug away at the loose puck until it crossed the goal line.

Must Read: Sabres Lose to Panthers in 45 Save Shutout

Impact Players

It looked like we had another goaltending duel early on, but the goals kept coming in the third period to turn the narrative in the game.

Henri Jokiharju deserves mention for a two-point night. The Finnish defenseman made a good pass to spring Mittelstadt up the ice for the two-on-one for the first goal. In overtime, Jokiharju made a nice play along the boards to maintain possession and slip the puck back to an oncoming Alex Tuch. He then made himself available for the return pass and one-timed the puck in for the win.

The Difference

Buffalo had much more spring in their step than at home on Thursday. The synergy wasn’t quite there, but the speed and will was. Sometimes, that’s all you need to get over the hump.

The Sabres barely edged out the Wild in shot quality, with 3.11 expected goals to 2.96. Shots, odd-man rushes, and blocks were also close, as this was a hard-fought victory.

What’s Next

The Sabres return home for a Monday matinee on Presidents’ Day against the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks are 30th in the NHL in standings points, and their -44 goal-differential is also third-worst in the league. It’s a must-win for Buffalo at this point in the season.