Quick Hits: Sabres 2, Wild 1 - The Buffalo News
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Quick Hits: Sabres 2, Wild 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- When it comes to games between the Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild, there is simply no home cooking to be found.

The teams have met 20 times since Minnesota entered the NHL as an expansion team in 2000, and the visiting team has won 15 of the games. The latest was Tuesday night's 2-1 victory by the Sabres in Xcel Energy Center, which gave Buffalo a measure of revenge after the Wild had whitewashed them, 4-0, five days earlier in KeyBank Center.

Johan Larsson's goal with 6:26 left snapped a tie as the Sabres won their third straight game for the first time this season to improve to 4-3-2. Buffalo improved to 7-3 here while last week's win by Wild pushed their advantage over the Sabres in Buffalo to 8-2.

Larsson cut down the middle and took a pass from Brian Gionta, who was skating along the boards down the right wing, to beat Devan Dubnyk from the slot for his second goal of the season. Both have been game-winners; Larsson opened the scoring in Saturday's 3-0 win over Florida.

Quick start: The Sabres scored the first goal for the third straight game, taking a 1-0 lead as Ryan O'Reilly netted his fourth of the season at 3:16 of the first period. There was good work at the points by Josh Gorges and Rasmus Ristolainen, with Ristolainen getting his shot through. Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin tried to sweep the rebound to the corner but put it into O'Reilly's skate and the Buffalo center swooped in to bang it past Dubnyk.

Shutout math: The goal ended Dubnyk's shutout streak at a franchise-record 184 mninutes, 59 seconds. He had posted three straight blankings, a first in Wild franchise history.

Another injury: Defenseman Zach Bogosian didn't play for the final six minutes of the first period and the Sabres announced he was out for the game with a knee injury. That left the Sabres to play just four defenseman the rest of the way, with Cody Franson rotating in for a few isolated shifts.

Turning the tide: The Wild turned up the heat in the second period by outshooting Buffalo, 15-7. Minnesota finally scored to forge a 1-1 tie on Mikael Granlund's power-play goal at 17:31, as he took an Eric Staal rebound and beat Robin Lehner on the backhand, with neither O'Reilly nor Larsson able to cover the middle of the ice.

Hometown kid gets the call: With Hudson Fasching sidelined by a groin pull and listed as day to day, the Sabres called up Williamsville native Justin Bailey from Rochester. Bailey, a right-handed shot, played left wing on the fourth line with Derek Grant and Nick Baptiste.

"Bailey has been playing left wing in Rochester for just such an emergency," said coach Dan Bylsma. "It started in development camp and into rookie camp seeing him come off his off side. Using his speed and driving on his off wing has been effective for him."

Said Bailey: "It's been a little bit different but it's one of those things that helps my game, coming down that left wing and being able to use my body to get to the net and create plays that way."

Against the West: The Sabres are 3-2-1 against the Western Conference, having played six of their first nine games outside the East. That will change in November, as just three of the Sabres' 14 games will be outside the East.

Up Next: The Sabres have a CBA-mandated day off on Wednesday. They play their first game of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night at 7 in KeyBank Center. It will be their first meeting against No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews, who was taken at the draft in Buffalo in June.

Matthews did not play in either exhibition game between the teams, with the first one coming just after his role for Team North America at the World Cup had ended.

email: mharrington@buffnews.com

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