Sabres shock the Wild, come back for a 3-2 win

Jason Pominville scores late to give Buffalo its first five-game win streak since 2012

Kyle Powell
November 17, 2018 - 5:13 pm

Photo: Marilyn Indahl - USA TODAY Sports


18-year-old Rasmus Dahlin tied it up, but 35-year-old, and former Minnesota Wild, Jason Pominville got the last laugh.

The Buffalo Sabres played comeback yet again and left the Wild shaking their heads after they scored three unanswered goals en route to a 3-2 victory at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The win pushes Buffalo's current winning streak up to five games, a milestone that the franchise has not reached since March of 2012.

Minnesota winger Zach Parise got the scoring started early on home ice as he capitalized on a Sabres defensive turnover just four minutes into the game. The goal was Parise's eighth of the campaign. Less than four minutes after Parise's tally, Wild defenseman Matt Dumba cranked a power play tally to make it 2-0; already his eighth goal from the blue line.

After a short 4-on-4 power play expired, Dahlin and Jake McCabe hooked up for a slick goal late in the first period. Both defenders crept up into the play and McCabe deposited the Dahlin feed past Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk. It was McCabe's second goal of the season, and it injected some much-needed confidence into a team that had found no luck early against a goaltender with a dangerous track record against them in the past.

After a goalless and, oddly, penalty-free second period, the teams went back to work in the final period of regulation. 

Buffalo was still in search of that elusive game-tying goal. They were showing signs of breaking out of an early-game funk, but could not solve the big-bodied Dubnyk. That changed with just over seven minutes to go as a scrum in from of the Minnesota net saw Dahlin cleaning up the mess and evening the contest at 2-2. It was Dahlin's first goal in 14 games, dating back to October 13 against the Arizona Coyotes.

With the score now tied, the teams looked to turn to more cautious styles of play as overtime loomed ominously. However, with 90-seconds left on the clock, the Sabres got deep into the Minnesota zone and the puck found Pominville's stick. Pominville spun around and backhanded the puck in the slot and deposited it far side past Dubnyk for the go-ahead goal.

Despite some late chances, the Sabres were able to quiet the Wild attack in the dying seconds and hold on for the 3-2 win. Linus Ullmark calmed himself down in net after giving up the early two goals, and ended the night with 37 saves on 39 shots faced.

The win pushes Buffalo's record to 12-6-2, good for 26 points through 20 games. That marks the franchise's best point total through 20 games of a season since 2009-10.



Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 14:52 - Jake McCabe (2) (Rasmus Dahlin, Kyle Okposo)
MIN: 4:00 - Zach Parise (8) (Unassisted); 7:45 - Matt Dumba (8) PPG (Nino Niederreiter, Mikko Koivu)

Second Period:


Third Period:

BUF: 12:58 - Rasmus Dahlin (2) (Jack Eichel, Zach Bogosian); 18:30 - Jason Pominville (9)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 6:59 - Jack Eichel (Hooking - 2 min.); 12:26 - Vladimir Sobotka (Hooking - 2 min.); 15:52 - Zach Bogosian (Holding - 2 min.)
MIN: 12:44 - Mikko Koivu (Tripping - 2 min.)

Second Period:


Third Period:



Shots on Goal:

BUF: 29 (9, 11, 9)
MIN: 39 (18, 12, 9)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 37 saves
MIN: Devan Dubnyk - 26 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 1 (0%)
MIN: 1 for 3 (33.3%)

Three Stars:

  1. Linus Ullmark - BUF
  2. Rasmus Dahlin - BUF
  3. Devan Dubnyk - MIN

What's Next:

The team is off on Sunday, but gets back to game action on Monday when the blue and gold find themselves in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. The road to six straight wins starts Monday at 6 p.m. with the Paul William Beltz Pre-Game Show, ahead of puck drop at 7 p.m.

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