Minnesota holds off Sabres 5-4

Buffalo drops their seventh consecutive game on Wednesday night at KeyBank Center

Pat Malacaro
November 22, 2017 - 7:09 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Sabres' losing streak has now hit seven straight games. Buffalo comes out on the wrong end of a 5-4 final against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night at KeyBank Center. Jordan Nolan scored his first two goals as a Sabre in the loss, while Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart also found the back of the net.

Check out how the game played out below:

First Period

16:09 - Buffalo again has come out with more energy, just like on Monday. However, they have recorded shots on goals, three to be exact, and seem to be playing with more urgency than two days ago. Johan Larsson had a rebound chance go off his stick, that was probably the best chance for the team to this point.

13:05 - The Sabres think they have the game's opening goal with the puck clearly past Devan Dubnyk, but I believe one of the referee's has indicated that he blew the whistle or intended to blow the whistle before the puck crossed the goal line. It is no goal, and the game stays 0-0.

13:05 - SABRES GOAL. I stand corrected. After a video review during the TV timeout, the referee has indicated that is a "good goal" and the call on the ice was overturned. Jack Eichel will get credit for the tally. 1-0 BUF.

11:01 - WILD GOAL. If you took Tyler Ennis over Marcus Foligno in the "who will score first" pool, it would be Ennis. He uses a spin-o-rama move on Victor Antipin and beats Chad Johnson with the backhander. I need my goalie to make that save. 1-1 tie.

7:23 - WILD GOAL. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the shooter and say nice job. Mikael Granlund used Justin Falk as a screen and then unleashed one heck of a wrist shot into the top corner of the net. He totally picked his spot, and now Buffalo trails by a goal. 2-1 MIN.

5:32 - WILD GOAL. It looks like a deflection on the power play has given Minnesota a two-goal lead on Buffalo. Mikko Koivu took the initial shot from the slot. It was a low, whipping wrister that was deflected by Nino Niederreiter at the top of the crease. So much for the good start by the blue and gold. 3-1 MIN.

End of Period

Goal Summary:

BUF: 6:55 - Jack Eichel (6) (Jason Pominville, Evander Kane)
MIN: 8:59 - Tyler Ennis (4) (Marcus Foligno, Charlie Coyle). 12:28 - Mikael Granlund (4) (unassisted). 14:28 - Nino Niederreiter (7) PPG (Mikko Koivu, Ryan Suter)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 14:00 - Benoit Pouliot (2 min., charging)

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 14, MIN - 13


Second Period:

20:00 - Robin Lehner has taken over in net for the Sabres, replacing Johnson. 

17:59 - SABRES GOAL. A nice play by Jordan Nolan to use a back checking Minnesota defenseman as a screen, and the forward is able to use a wrist shot to beat Devan Dubnyk and bring Buffalo back within a goal. Consider me surprised, pleasantly, by the play. 3-2 MIN.

14:40 - The intensity is noticeable for the blue and gold this period. They have had two fortuitous goals go in early in a period tonight, they need to really capitalize this time and not let Minnesota come back to dominate the rest of the frame. 

12:03 - WILD GOAL. Well, it has happened again. This time Nino Niederreiter is able to get in between the two Sabres defensemen, and Josh Gorges cross checks the forward as he is pushing the puck past Robin Lehner's pads. Bad defensive zone coverage by the blue and gold help Minnesota re-establish the two-goal lead. 4-2 MIN.

5:04 - Buffalo did a nice job on their last penalty kill to keep the deficit at two, and now they go back to a man down thanks to a Nathan Beaulieu minor for roughing. As the period has gone on, I have liked the Sabres less and less. Same thing happened in the first.

4:04 - WILD GOAL. The Sabres are not as fortunate this time as two Minnesota players camp out in front of the net, Justin Falk ties up one but Mikael Granlund is able to deflect the puck through the pads of Robin Lehner. Mikko Koivu took the shot that was redirected into the net. 5-2 MIN.

1:34 - SABRES GOAL. Buffalo is able to catch the visitors in a change, and are able to bring themselves within two goals. Sam Reinhart streaked right through the middle of the slot and was able to tip home Jake McCabe's give-and-go pass into the top corner of the net. That is the kind of goal the team needed to spark the offense. 5-3 MIN.

End of Period

Goal Summary:

BUF: 2:01 - Jordan Nolan (1) (Kyle Okposo, Jacob Josefson). 18:25 - Sam Reinhart (5) (Jake McCabe, Johan Larsson)
MIN: 7:57 - Nino Niederreiter (8) (Eric Staal, Jason Zucker). 15:56 - Mikael Granlund (5) PPG (Mikko Koivu, Ryan Suter) 

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 12:18 - Josh Gorges (2 min., tripping). 14:56 - Nathan Beaulieu (2 min., roughing)
MIN: 2:23 - Mike Reilly (2 min., holding). 8:25 - Mike Reilly (2 min., hooking). 19:41 - Jonas Brodin (2 min., interference)

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 11 (25), MIN - 14 (27)


Third Period:

18:14 - Buffalo could not capitalize on Jonas Brodin's minor at the end of the last period. They fail to get a shot on goal over the 1:41 of carryover power play time. It would have been nice to see the team get back within a goal with almost an entire period to get the equalizer.

10:25 - I am struggling to come up with anything interesting to say about this period. Shots are 3-3, and none of them would be from what I would call the high quality area. I am sure the Wild are content with seeing the time just ooze off of the clock with a two-goal lead.

6:05 - SABRES GOAL. Jordan Nolan comes through again for the blue and gold. He takes a shot from the half wall and Devan Dubnyk should have stopped it under his arm. Instead, it is the second of the year for Nolan and brings Buffalo within a goal. 5-4 MIN.

2:56 - Buffalo has been buzzing, nearly tying the game several times since Nolan's second goal of the night. Can they get their fifth? We will see.

1:34 - Lenher is pulled for the extra attacker.

End of Game
Minnesota 5, Buffalo 4

Goal Summary:

BUF: 13:55 - Jordan Nolan (2) (Nathan Beaulieu)

Penalty Summary:


Shots on Goal:

BUF - 9 (34), MIN - 5 (32)


BUF: Johnson - 10 saves; Lehner - 17 saves
MIN: Dubnyk - 30 saves


BUF: 0 for 3 (0%)
MIN: 2 for 3 (66.6%)

Three Stars:

  1. Nino Niederreiter - MIN
  2. Mikael Granlund - MIN
  3. Mikko Koivu - MIN

What's Next:

The Sabres will close out their four-game homestand on Friday night against the Edmonton Oilers at KeyBank Center. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m. with pre-game coverage starting at 6 p.m. with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog live from (716) Food and Sport!

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