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At the Horn: Wild 4 - Sabres 1

Buffalo kills off 6 of 7 penalties in loss to Minnesota

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres' penalty killers were mighty busy Tuesday night. The team found itself shorthanded seven times during their game against the Minnesota Wild.

Buffalo killed off six of those opportunities over 10:29, but weren't able to muster enough offense in a 4-1 loss at KeyBank Center. 

Brandon Montour scored Buffalo's only goal and Linus Ullmark made 21 saves. Montour led the Sabres with six shots on goal. 

Rookie Rasmus Asplund was first on the team with 7:36 of ice time while shorthanded with Zemgus Girgensons (7:14) and Jake McCabe (6:49) right behind. Those minutes on the penalty kill are career highs for all three players. 

For Asplund, his PK time was the most single-game shorthanded minutes recorded by a rookie forward since Zach Hyman's identical total on Jan. 13, 2017. No rookie forward has posted more penalty kill time in a game than Asplund's total since Michael Grabner on Feb. 11, 2011.


What happened

The Sabres fell into an early hole when the Wild scores twice in the first period. First Zach Parise converted off a neutral zone turnover at the 7:14 mark and then tipped in a goal on the power play with 2.8 seconds left in the period to make it 2-0. 

Jonas Brodin jumped into the rush to give the Wild a three-goal lead 5:29 into the second period. 

Buffalo was charged with eight penalty minutes in the second period, including a minor penalty after Ralph Krueger and his coaching staff unsuccessfully challenged the third Wild goal they thought may have been offside. 

The Sabres also killed off a double minor to captain Jack Eichel, who was charged with roughing after going after Joel Eriksson Ek in the Wild zone. 

Montour scored his first goal of the season with 3:49 remaining in regulation and the goalie pulled. 

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

Jason Zucker added an empty-net goal with 2:14 left. 


What it means

The Sabres are now 10-8-3 on the season and 6-3-2 on home ice. 

As general manger Jason Botterill addressed before the game, the team is battling a number of injuries. Five forwards - Marcus Johansson, Johan Larsson, Kyle Okposo, Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson - are currently out of the lineup with the hopes that Johansson and Larsson can return for the team's road trip this week. 

The Sabres played with 11 forwards and seven defensemen on Tuesday, with blue liner John Gilmour playing on a line with Asplund and Girgensons. 

Buffalo's power play also hasn't found a spark over the last eight games, going 0-for-21 in that stretch. The Sabres had three opportunities with the man advantage on Tuesday.

 

Roll the highlight film 

Let's look at this save from Ullmark:

Video: MIN@BUF: Ullmark reaches to make gorgeous glove save


Up next

Buffalo hits the road for a three-game trip that starts Thursday against the Boston Bruins. They'll then play the Florida Panthers on Sunday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. 

Stay tuned to Sabres.com for full coverage of the trip. 

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