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NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Buffalo



(Saturday, March 24th)

Final Score: Buffalo 3, Minnesota 1

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Marcus Foligno scored the game-winning goal early in the third period as the Buffalo Sabres continued their charge toward the playoffs with a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild at First Niagara Center on Saturday.

Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson scored and Ryan Miller posted 24 stops for the Sabres, who have won four straight.

With the victory, Buffalo moved into the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference with 84 points, two ahead of the idle Washington Capitals.

"I wasn't surprised that they had better legs early on," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said. "But we dug in with shorter shifts and came out at the start of the second period and started to make a difference."

Steven Kampfer scored the lone goal for the Wild, who had their brief two-game winning streak snapped. Josh Harding gave up two goals on 36 shots.

Minnesota opened the scoring at 6:51 of the first period after Kyle Brodziak picked the puck up in the neutral zone on the right wing, beat two checkers and went in on a 2-on-1 down low with Kampfer. Brodziak looked up and sent a saucer pass right to the tape of Kampfer, who one-timed it past Harding.

The Sabres tied it just 1:12 into the second period after Hodgson jumped on a loose disc behind the net, cut out in front and tried to stuff it home from in close. Harding made the first save, but Vanek was able to poke the puck home amid a scramble in front.

Skating on the power play, the Sabres took the lead for good at 1:45 of the third frame when Tyler Myers blasted a slap shot from the point that was tipped past Harding by Foligno in front to make it 2-1.

Hodgson added an empty-netter while on the power play with less than a second remaining to seal the victory for Buffalo.

"They have a lot of skill up front and their defensemen are solid," Harding said. "I thought we came out strong, but kind of let our foot off the gas in the second period. It's too bad we didn't come out on the winning end."

Game Notes

Saturday marked the only meeting of the season between the teams. Buffalo defeated Minnesota, 3-2 in overtime in the only matchup between the sides last year...Buffalo improved to 2-4-0 at home all-time against the Wild...Buffalo also improved to 30-3-2 when allowing two goals or fewer and 28-4-4 when scoring three or more...The Sabres finished 2-for-4 with the man advantage, while the Wild failed to score on two power-play chances...The Sabres will try to extend their winning streak against the Caps on Tuesday, while Minnesota will visit Washington on Sunday.

03/24 23:28:27 ET