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Sabres top Wild in shootout for rare win streak

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Tage Thompson scored the only goal in a shootout to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 win against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday in Saint Paul, Minn.

Dylan Cozens and Mark Pysyk scored, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 30 saves, for the Sabres, who won consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 25 and Oct. 28.

Jon Merrill and Kirill Kaprizov scored for the Wild, who had their six-game home winning streak snapped and are winless (0-2-1) in three straight for the first time this season. Cam Talbot made 38 saves.

The Sabres dominated the opening period, outshooting the Wild 21-6, but Talbot kept Buffalo scoreless. He denied the Sabres several times on a pair of power plays, including one shot from Cozens from the slot, and made a sequence of saves after stopping Jeff Skinner from the right faceoff dot off the rush.

Merrill gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 10:11 of the first period, blasting a slap shot from the top of the right circle that grazed Luukkonen’s glove before trickling into the net.

Cozens tied it 1-1 at 8:05 of the second period when he tipped in Henri Jokiharju’s shot from the point. Sabres winger Kyle Okposo intercepted Talbot’s pass attempt behind the net aimed for defenseman Matt Dumba and pushed the puck to the front of the net, where it hit several sticks before finding its way to Jokiharju.

Kevin Fiala came close to putting the Wild back on top when his shot from the left circle squeaked through Luukkonen, but Sabres defenseman Colin Miller quickly cleared it out of the crease with less than three minutes remaining in the second period.

Kaprizov’s shot from the left circle trickled through Luukkonen’s pads to make it 2-1 Minnesota with 55 seconds remaining in the middle period.

Vinnie Hinostroza fed a pinching Pysyk with a cross-ice pass and to tie it 2-2 at 12:03 of the third period.

–Field Level Media

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