It was Hockey Fights Cancer Night inside KeyBank Center tonight, and everyone showed their love for those fighting cancer with a will and strength most others can’t imagine. As many of you do, I look forward to this night every year.
After 18 minutes into the opening period, Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju broke the ice with his second goal. This shot rocketed past several players, including Wild netminder Filip Gustavsson. Owen Power received the lone assist. Then, with only 0:30 seconds left in the period, Wild star forward Kirill Kaprizov tied the game.
Buffalo took a 2-1 lead with less than a minute left in the second period. Jeff Skinner scored his seventh goal when he made a fantastic deke on the Minnesota goalie. JJ Peterka received the lone assist.
Peterka scored his sixth goal of the season at 03:33 of the third period, increasing the Sabres’ lead to 3-1. Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner assisted.
Minnesota cut into the Sabres’ lead with less than eight minutes left to play in the final frame, with Joel Eriksson Ek scoring his 8th, but that’s as close as the Wild would get on this night.
The Sabres sent the near-capacity crowd home happy with a 3-2 win, their fourth in the last six games. With a record of 7-6-1, the Sabres are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. Believe it or not, they are only one point behind three teams tied for third place.
The final shots on goal favored Minnesota 35-25. Devon Levi collected his 3rd win of the season, making 33 saves.
Buffalo will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa., on Saturday at 7:30 pm to meet the Penguins and look to continue its recent success.