Skip to Main Content
game recap

Granlund, Niederreiter propel Wild past Sabres

Each scores twice to help hand Buffalo seventh straight loss

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter each scored two goals to help the Minnesota Wild to a 5-4 win against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Wednesday.

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Sabres highlights]

 

Granlund's first goal gave the Wild a 2-1 lead at 12:28 of the first period on a 2-on-1 when he beat Chad Johnson with a wrist shot.

Niederreiter made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 14:28 of the first when he redirected a shot by Mikko Koivu past Johnson.

"He goes to the net and he's hungry," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said of Niederreiter. "He's not going to get a million beautiful goals, but he's going to get the greasy ones in front of the net and that's what he does."

Johnson was replaced by Robin Lehner after the first period. Johnson made 10 saves on 13 shots; Lehner made 19 saves.

Video: MIN@BUF: Niederreiter tips a PPG home from in front

The Wild (10-8-3) had lost two straight games.

"We all know we can play better," Granlund said. "At the same time, we got the win and that's all we need right now. These kinds of games happen and we've just got to move on and get ready for the next one."

Jordan Nolan scored his first two goals of the season for the Sabres (5-13-4), who have lost seven straight (0-5-2).

"It's a game of mistakes, and it's decisions and choices at the wrong time of the game," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "We get the first goal [and] all we have to do is continue to stay the course. It's one mistake here, one mistake there that guys are making the wrong choices and not playing the right way."

After Nolan's first goal with Buffalo cut the Minnesota lead to 3-2 at 2:01 of the second, Niederreiter's second goal made it 4-2 at 7:57.

Granlund's second of the game made it 5-2 on the power play at 15:56 of the second when he tipped a shot by Koivu through Lehner's legs.

Video: MIN@BUF: Granlund redirects a PPG in front

"Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't. That's life," Granlund said. "As long as we try to play as good as we can and create chances and play responsible, it's going to happen."

Sam Reinhart made it 5-3 at 18:25 of the second when he tipped a pass by Jake McCabe past Dubnyk for his 100th NHL point. Nolan's second goal made it 5-4 at 13:55 of the third period.

Jack Eichel gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 6:55 of the first period when he poked a Jason Pominville rebound past Devan Dubnyk, who made 30 saves.

Former Sabres forward Tyler Ennis made it 1-1 2:04 later on a backhand after a pass from Marcus Foligno.

"It's funny how it all works out," Ennis said. "I've had so many chances, breakaways, posts the last little while here and just a shot from a tough angle goes in."

It was the first time the Sabres and Wild faced each other since Ennis and Foligno were traded to Minnesota for Pominville and defenseman Marco Scandella on June 30.

Video: MIN@BUF: Eichel tucks home the opening goal

 

Goal of the game

Granlund's goal at 12:28 of the first period.

Video: MIN@BUF: Granlund roofs a wrister from the high slot

 

Save of the game

Dubnyk's save against Kyle Okposo at 19:27 of the third period.

Video: MIN@BUF: Dubnyk stones Okposo with late pad stop

 

Highlight of the game

Ennis' goal at 8:59 of the first period.

Video: MIN@BUF: Ennis scores in first game back in Buffalo

 

They said it

"It definitely wasn't our best game. We were sloppy for a long time and had the lead and gave them life again. It was always back and forth. At the end of the day it was good that we closed them out but it definitely wasn't as good as we wanted to play." -- Wild forward Nino Niederreiter

 

Video: MIN@BUF: Niederreiter tucks home his second of game

 

"We've had talks. We've had video sessions. Again, that's not on coaching, it's on us. They can't change it. It's got to be us. It's got to come from us. We've got to be better and I believe that we have the capability to do it but, again, everyone's got to look themselves in the mirror and pull up their sleeves and be better. Right now it's not happening and we've got to put this behind us and move forward because what's behind us isn't even close to being good enough." -- Sabres forward Jason Pominville

 
Need to know

Wild forward Chris Stewart returned to the lineup after being scratched against the New Jersey Devils on Monday. … Sabres forward Jacob Josefson returned to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 15 (15 games).

 

What's next

Wild: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Friday (4 p.m. ET; FS-N, ALT, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday (7 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, SNW, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Granlund, Niederreiter lead Wild to 5-4 win

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.