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Postgame Hat Trick: Sabres 2, Wild 1

Buffalo snaps Dubnyk's shutout streak, Granlund nets lone goal

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild lose to Sabres at home, 2-1

MIN Recap: Offense struggles as Wild lose at home

Mikael Granlund scored his second goal of the season, but the Wild were unable to generate much else in a 2-1 loss to the Sabres in Minnesota

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Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 2-1 loss against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center:

1. Mikael Granlund scored a pretty goal once again on Tuesday, this time on the power play.

After taking a nice pass from Mikko Koivu and beating the goaltender with a backhand-forehand maneuver against Dallas for a short-handed marker on Saturday, Granlund switched it up this time and went forehand-backhand off a rebound of an Eric Staal shot. 

For Granlund, it was his second goal of the season, a good sign for the Wild if Minnesota (6-3-1) is going to be without Zach Parise and Erik Haula for the next stretch of games. 

Staal now has a point in five straight games, the longest by a Wild player this season and the longest by Staal in nearly three years.

Video: BUF@MIN: Granlund beats Lehner with a backhand

"We wanted to make sure we were ready to go, and unfortunately I didn't think we had our legs there in the first period," Staal said. "We got to it better in the second and were a lot stronger. Third, 1-1 in your rink, you want to make sure you're getting points out of it."

2. Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk's team record shutout streak ended early in the first period.

After Dubnyk shut out three consecutive opponents, including the Sabres last week in western New York, Buffalo (4-3-2) got the puck past the Wild netminder at the 3:16 mark of the first period when Ryan O'Reilly hammered a rebound into the back of the net off a funky bounce in front.

"I wasn't going to go another 80 games, so it was going to happen eventually," Dubnyk said. "It's disappointing it happened on a play like that, but again, tough bounce, but it's kind of the way the night seemed to go."

Still, it was a fantastic run for the Wild goaltender, who established a new individual club record of 183 minutes, 16 seconds of shutout hockey. 

"I'm a big fan of wins and those shutouts are bonus," Dubnyk said. "Like I said, it's disappointing to have it end on a bounce like that but a lot of fortunate bounces have to happen to get three in a row. So we'll let that one go and get ready for Saturday."

Dubnyk was an integral part of the rest of the first period, making eight saves in a frame where the Wild struggled. His right pad save on Nicholas Baptiste moments after the goal was of the highlight-reel variety and kept the Minnesota deficit at just one goal. 

3. Tuesday night was Military Appreciation Night at Xcel Energy Center as the Wild and its fans honored members of the armed forces, past and present.

One of the cooler moments of the night came during the second intermission, when several Purple Heart recipients were honored by the 18,864 in attendance. 

Video: Purple Heart Recipients Honored

Among the other festivities: a mites game during the first intermission featuring the kids of military families and the "Let's Play Hockey!" call from Wild team surgeon Dr. David Hamlar Jr., a brigadier general in the Air National Guard.

Wild players also wore camouflage jerseys during warmups that will be auctioned off to benefit the United Heroes League and the Minnesota Wild Foundation.

Loose Pucks

• The loss was Minnesota's first on home ice this season (4-1-0).

• The Wild dropped to 3-2-0 when allowing the first goal of the game.

• Minnesota killed its only power play against, improving to a NHL-best 96.3 percent this season, more than six percent better than the next best teams (Tampa Bay and Edmonton).

• Former Wild forward Johan Larsson scored the game-winning goal at 13:34 of the third period.

• Attendance: 18,864

He Said It

"It was frustrating. Sometimes it's a frustrating team. It can play so good one period and not show up for the [next] period. Tonight we didn't show up in the first period, I didn't think. We had no life and no energy, and then in the second period, all of a sudden we're really good. And then in the third period, it was like we were playing for a tie." --Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on his team's inconsistencies throughout the course of a game

Video: Bruce Boudreau Postgame vs Buffalo

They Said It

"We ran out of a little bit of gas in the second and they had a big push on us, and we were holding on for dear life. [Goaltender Robin Lehner] came up with some amazing saves to hold us in the game and hold us even at 1-1." -- Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges

Three Stars

* Ryan O'Reilly

** Mikael Granlund

*** Johan Larsson

 

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