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Wild pick up two huge points with shootout win over Sabres

Thomas Vanek, Jason Zucker, Mikko Koivu

Minnesota Wild left wing Thomas Vanek, left, of Austria and left wing Jason Zucker (16) congratulate center Mikko Koivu, center, of Finland, after his goal on Vancouver Canucks goalie Ryan Miller during the second period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. The Wild won 6-2. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)


The Minnesota Wild managed to squeak out a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. It wasn’t always pretty, but in the end only the two points matter.

Everything was fine for the Wild in the first period. David Jones, who the team acquired from Calgary on Monday, opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game. Minnesota also outshot Buffalo 10-4 in the opening 20 minutes.

In the second frame, everything changed. Buffalo really took it to Minnesota.

The Sabres got goals from Johan Larsson and Jack Eichel to jump ahead 2-1. The Wild didn’t get their first shot of the period until the midway mark of the frame. They were eventually outshot 13-5 in the middle period.

Thankfully for the Wild (and their playoff hopes), they were able to tie the game late in the third with a power play goal from their captain.

Jason Pominville added the shootout winner for the Wild.

The win gives Minnesota a tiny bit of breathing room in the Western Conference Wild Card picture.