Sabres hang on to beat Wild

League: NHL

Posted on: 11 Nov, 2023 at 06:34 AM

Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Devon Levi made 33 saves while Jeff Skinner scored the tiebreaking goal and assisted on the decisive third-period score for the Buffalo Sabres, who beat the visiting Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Friday night.

JJ Peterka also had a goal with an assist for Buffalo, which is riding a 2-0-1 stretch. Levi, who entered 2-3-0 with a 3.41 goals-against average, was stout all game for the Sabres.

The score looked to stay tied 1-1 entering the third period after Levi proved stellar in stopping all 14 shots he faced during the second -- highlighted by a sprawling blade save on Minnesota star Kirill Kaprizov, who scored his fifth goal earlier in the game.

Buffalo then took advantage of a Wild turnover to break the tie on just the fourth of its six shots on goal in the second period. Skinner was on a partial breakaway and pushed the puck past Minnesota goaltender Filip Gustavsson (22 saves) with just 58 seconds remaining in the second.

The Sabres extended their lead 3:33 into the third when Peterka capped some nifty passing via Skinner and Tage Thompson, who recorded his 100th career assist. Levi thwarted an up-close chance by Minnesota's Joel Eriksson Ek moments later.

Eriksson Ek, however, was finally rewarded with 7:33 remaining in regulation with his 100th goal and Minnesota's second power-play score of the game. Levi, though, saved a liner through traffic from Kaprizov with 13.1 seconds left and survived a post hit by Jared Spurgeon, who was making his season debut from injury for the Wild.

Each team had moments of serious pressure during the first period. Henri Jokiharju's one-timed drive through traffic and past a screened Gustavsson, who stopped 10 shots through the first 20 minutes, opened the scoring with 1:58 remaining before the initial intermission.

However, Minnesota made the most of a late power play. Off a perfect cross-slot pass from Matt Boldy, Kaprizov went down on one knee to one-time the puck by Levi with 30 seconds left in the opening period.

Minnesota has five points in the last eight games.

--Field Level Media