Sabres salvage 5-4 shootout win over Minnesota

Linus Ullmark makes 41 saves in the win

Pat Malacaro
February 05, 2019 - 7:07 pm

Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Sabres were able to salvage a 5-4 shootout win on Tuesday night thanks to a pair of power play goals against the Minnesota Wild. Buffalo failed to hold the lead until Sam Reinhart scored the only shootout goal.

Evan Rodrigues' power play tally nearly five minutes into the game gave the blue and gold a 1-0 lead over Minnesota. The goal came with Matt Hendricks in the penalty box for holding. Rasmus Ristolainen and Jack Eichel assisted on the special teams goal. Despite not being credited with an assist, Kyle Okposo's screen in front of the net helped create the goal.

Reinhart took a hooking penalty late in the opening period to give the Wild their first power play chance of the game. However, Buffalo did not allow Minnesota score before the end of the period.

The Wild recorded 10 shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes, but Linus Ullmark was able to make all 10 saves for Buffalo. At the other end Devan Dubnyk stopped 10 of Buffalo's 11 shots on goal. 

Minnesota scored three times in the middle stanza to keep pace with the blue and gold. Jared Spurgeon scored first to even the game at 1-1. The score came just over six minutes into the period. C.J. Smith quickly answered for Buffalo to make it 2-1 in favor of the home team. His second goal of the season was assisted by Sam Reinhart.

Rasmus Dahlin scored the second power play goal of the night for Buffalo to make it 3-1 in favor of the Sabres. Eichel's second assist of the night came on the goal. Casey Mittelstadt also assisted on Dahlin's sixth goal of the year.

Spurgeon's second goal of the night brought the Wild to within a goal just 2:10 later. Four minutes later, the visitors would net the game-tying goal. Charlie Coyle recorded his 10th goal of the season, making it 3-3 in the middle frame. 

Jake McCabe created the Sabres' fourth goal of the night with good vision and hands in the offensive zone. The rear guard held the puck near the faceoff dot on the right wing and slid it to the far corner, where Reinhart scored his 13th goal of the season. The forward's second point of the night made it 4-3 in favor of Buffalo.

Tage Thompson took the only minor penalty of the period. The forward was whistled for holding with just about five minutes to go in regulation, giving Minnesota a man advantage chance. Buffalo was able to kill off the minor, despite being shorthanded.

The Wild pulled Dubnyk in favor of an extra skater, and it resulted in the game-tying goal once again. Zach Parise's scored when he banked the puck off of the goal post and Ullmark's pad before it crossed the line to make it 4-4.

In overtime, the Sabres out-shot the Wild 5-3 and got a few good chances to put the game away. However, neither team was able to net the game-winner and the game proceeded to the shootout.

In the third round of the shootout, Reinhart was able to barely put a puck through Dubnyk to score the go-ahead goal. Dubnyk made the original save, but the puck got behind him and ended up crawling over the goalline. Ullmark then needed to make a save on Parise to seal the win, and his shot went wide of the net.


Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 4:31 - Evan Rodrigues (7) PPG (Rasmus Ristolainen, Jack Eichel)

Second Period:

BUF: 7:32 - C.J. Smith (2) (Sam Reinhart); 11:33 - Rasmus Dahlin (6) PPG (Jack Eichel, Casey Mittelstadt)
MIN: 6:29 - Jared Spurgeon (9) (Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker); 13:43 - Jared Spurgeon (10) (Luke Kunin, Ryan Suter); 17:05 - Charlie Coyle (10) (Luke Kunin, Greg Pateryn)

Third Period:

BUF: 6:25 - Sam Reinhart (13) (Jake McCabe)
MIN: 18:23 - Zach Parise (21) (Charlie Coyle, Ryan Suter)




BUF: Jack Eichel - Miss
MIN: Victor Rask - Miss
BUF: Casey Mittelstadt - Miss
MIN: Jason Zucker - Save
BUF: Sam Reinhart - GOAL
MIN: Zach Parise- Miss


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 18:36 - Sam Reinhart (Hooking - 2 min.)
MIN: 2:56 - Matt Hendricks (Holding - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 1:23 - Rasmus Dahlin (Hooking - 2 min.)
MIN: 10:25 - Jonas Brodin (Slashing - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 15:01 - Tage Thompson (Holding - 2 min.)



Shots on Goal:

BUF: 39 (11, 11, 12, 5)
MIN: 43 (10, 19, 13, 3)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 41 saves
MIN: Devan Dubnyk - 35 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 2 for 2 (100%)
MIN: 0 for 3 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Sam Reinhart - BUF
  2. Jared Spurgeon - MIN
  3. Jack Eichel - BUF

What's next:

The blue and gold remain home for the third game of the seven-game homestand. Buffalo hosts the Carolina Hurricanes at seven o'clock on Thursday night on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pre-game coverage with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog begins our coverage at 6 p.m. from (716) Food and Sport.

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