That was the final score Thursday, a Sabres thrashing at the hands of Minnesota. After a three day layoff they spotted the hometown Wild a six goal lead before finally showing some life and chipped in a couple freebies late in the third.
“Our urgency without the puck was not there tonight,” head coach Phil Housley said after the loss. “Just not the way we’ve been playing as of late.”
Buffalo gave up two early goals in the opening minutes and were unable to recover.
Not helping matters was the penalty called on Rasmus Ristolainen halfway through the opening period. Ristolainen stood up Mikko Koivu just after the Wild forward dished off a pass, dropping the veteran to his knees. Risto was called for interference and also given a game misconduct. The hit looked good and clean but after the officials had a chance to discuss the play, Ristolainen was shown the exit. Buffalo lost their most physical defenseman and a guy who logs a lot of minutes.
Nino Niederreiter scored a hat-trick, just the second of his career, I might add, both versus the Sabres.
Robin Lehner faced just 13 shots before he was yanked for back-up Chad Johnson.
The Sabres outshot the Wild 31-27 but went 0-3 on the power play. Devan Dubnyk stopped 25 shots for the Wild.
Buffalo will face Winnipeg (23-11-7) Friday night.