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game recap

Parise scores two goals to lift Wild past Sabres

Stalock makes 30 saves for Minnesota; Buffalo is 1-6-2 in its past nine games

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Parise opens the scoring

MIN@BUF: Parise buries feed from Eriksson Ek

Zach Parise takes a centering pass from Joel Eriksson Ek and fires it into the twine to open the scoring in the 1st period

  • 00:29 •

BUFFALO -- Zach Parise scored twice, and Alex Stalock made 30 saves for the Minnesota Wild in a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist, and Jonas Brodin scored his first of the season for the Wild (8-11-2), who are 3-1-1 in their past five games.

"We talked a lot about better starts," Parise said. "There hasn't been a lot of games we've jumped out to the lead. It's an easier game to play when you have that cushion and you're not chasing the game."

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Sabres Highlights]

 

Brandon Montour scored, and Linus Ullmark made 22 saves for the Sabres, (10-8-3), who are 1-6-2 in their past nine games.

"We're all in this together. No one's feeling sorry for us. We can't feel sorry for ourselves," Sabres captain Jack Eichel said. "It's frustrating the position that we're in, but it's just going to test our character right now and our will to compete on a nightly basis and just our will to win. That's what it comes down to. But we're all in this together. It's important we just stick together in this tough time and get through the adversity. That's all you can do."

After Joel Eriksson Ek forced a turnover by Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt in the neutral zone, he skated in on a 2-on-1 and sent a backhand pass to Parise, who scored from in front to make it 1-0 at 7:14 of the first period.

Parise extended the lead to 2-0 with four seconds remaining in the first when he deflected Ryan Suter's point shot on the power play. With the goal, he tied teammate Mikko Koivu for the most power-play goals in Wild history.

Video: MIN@BUF: Parise tips home power-play goal in front

"We've been spending more time in the offensive zone as a line," Parise said. "Through that stretch, I was getting a lot of good deflections that weren't going in. Tonight, it went in. It was a frustrating time, but that's in the past now. I like the way our line is playing. We're getting better, we're learning about each other and our power play is producing a little bit, so it just makes the game a lot easier."

Brodin made it 3-0 at 5:29 of the second when he skated in behind Buffalo forward Conor Sheary along the left side, received a pass from Zucker and scored five-hole with a backhand. Sabres coach Ralph Krueger challenged the play for offside, but the call was upheld after a video review.

"I told them today you guys believe in yourselves," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You're a good team. You've beaten some really good teams this year. You've been in every game for the last 10 games. So if you start believing in yourself, then good things are going to happen."

Montour cut it to 3-1 at 16:11 of the third period. With Ullmark pulled for the extra skater, Montour got the rebound of Eichel's initial shot at the right post and scored into an open net.

Video: MIN@BUF: Montour fires home rebound from in tight

"It's one of those things where mentally, it's simple plays. It's one of those things where we've just got to be ready right off the hop," Montour said. "Going down like that tonight is another example of not bringing it right off the hop. We've got to get out of this before it gets even uglier than it is right now."

Zucker made it 4-1 with an empty-net goal at 17:46.

Wild defenseman Matt Dumba left 1:18 into the third period (undisclosed) and did not return. 

 

They said it

"[Zach Parise] is one of the most competitive guys that I've played with. He takes it so hard, he takes it personal. It's hard. I've told him it's a team game, man. And now it's going in for him, which makes our team that much better. Ten seconds left in a three-goal game and he's throwing himself in front of a puck. That says a lot about his makeup." -- Wild goalie Alex Stalock

"I think we're all angry today. We're all extremely disappointed with the result and the storyline, but just my spontaneous reaction, I don't think it'll change much when I sleep on it. … We know nobody's going to give it to us. We have to earn the results that we want to have. Whatever was going on in the past, I can't speak to, but I can feel a fighting spirit here." -- Sabres coach Ralph Krueger

 

Need to know

Minnesota is 6-0-1 in its past seven games at Buffalo and 10-2-1 in its history. … Parise has five points (four goals, one assist) in the past three games. … Mittelstadt doesn't have a point in his past 11 games.

 

What's next

Wild: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, ALT, NHL.TV)

Sabres: At the Boston Bruins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, TVAS, NESN, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Video: Parise scores two as Wild defeat Sabres, 4-1

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