Stafford Scores In OT, Sabres Beat Wild 3-2
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Drew Stafford scored 46 seconds into overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.
Jason Pominville and Rob Niedermayer also scored to help Buffalo move into eighth place in the Eastern Conference, a point ahead of Carolina for the final playoff spot.
The Sabres are 6-0-1 in their last seven road games, the first time they’ve earned points in seven straight road games since opening the 2006-07 season by winning an NHL-record 10 straight away from home.
Stafford picked up the puck at the Wild blue line, went around Brent Burns and tucked the puck under goalie Jose Theodore’s leg.
Warren Peters and Marek Zidlicky scored for Minnesota, which has lost three of four. The Wild earned a point for advancing to overtime to move into a tie for ninth in the Western Conference with Anaheim and Nashville, a point behind eighth-place Los Angeles.
Pominville scored 1:23 into the game on a perfectly executed a 3-on-1. He carried the puck into the Wild zone and passed across for Thomas Vanek, who left the puck for Steve Montador. The defenseman cut to his left and backhanded it across the crease to Pominville at the right post for an easy tap-in.
Niedermayer slammed home a rebound of Andrej Sekera’s shot at 2:04 of the second period for his first goal in 67 games.
Minnesota scored twice late in the period to tie it.
Peters charged down the slot to tip a centering pass from Brad Staubitz into the Buffalo net with 5:47 left, and Marek Zidlicky beat Jhonas Enroth with a snap shot on a power play with 2:27 to go.
Theodore, who made 40 stops Thursday night at the Rangers and 46 saves Feb. 25 at Anaheim in his last two starts, made 30 saves for the Wild.
NOTES: Minnesota RW Cal Clutterbuck, the NHL leader with 298 hits, missed the game with what the team called an “upper-body injury.” … Buffalo G Ryan Miller, who started the last nine games and 39 of the past 41 since Thanksgiving, wasn’t in uniform. Patrick Lalime was the backup goalie. … The game was the teams’ only meeting this season. … Peters’ goal was his third in 34 NHL games and first since Nov. 21, 2009, with Dallas.
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