Dahlin, Olofsson help Sabres beat Wild 6-5 in OT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Rasmus Dahlin had two goals and three assists, Victor Olofsson also scored twice — including the winner with 18.3 seconds left in overtime — as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Minnesota Wild 6-5 on Saturday night.
Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens also scored for the Sabres, who have won eight of their last nine. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen had 39 saves.
It’s the third straight win in which the Sabres lost a lead and came back to get the victory in overtime.
“We’ve seen a couple times now, so we know we can do it,” Dahlin said. “How everyone reacts on the bench is just amazing. No one gets frustrated or stressed about it. We just keep going and we have so many skilled and talented players. If we get one chance we will score.”
With time winding down in the extra period, Olofsson fired a shot past Fleury after taking a pass from Peyton Krebs for his 15th goal of the season.
“We never panic,” Olofsson said. “We’re very confident as a group and we just keep going. We knew we’ve got enough skill to create chances.”
Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Hartman each had a goal and an assist for Minnesota, and Brandon Duhaime, Kirill Kaprizov and Marcus Foligno also scored. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 31 saves as the Wild snapped a three-game win streak.
“We talked about it with you guys here this morning of how good they are offensively in the league and they proved that,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “I don’t know, maybe we wanted to prove how good we are, but that’s not who we are. We traded chances with them and in the end got burnt by it.”
Olofsson’s first goal opened the scoring with 7 minutes left in the first period.
Duhaime tied it when he put a rebound past Luukkonen while parked in front at 2:52 of the second period. It was his fourth of the season.
Kaprizov’s 23rd made it 2-1 on a 5-on-3 power play nearly four minutes later.
Thompson tied it with a slap shot from the left circle on a Sabres power play with 9:30 remaining in the middle period. It was his 31st.
Just 1:32 later, Dahlin gave Buffalo a 3-2 lead and Cozens made it a two-goal advantage on another power play with 6:05 left in the period.
Hartman brought the Wild within one with a deflection goal with 1:15 to go in the second and Foligno tied it 4-4 at 26 seconds of the third. Eriksson Ek put the Wild ahead with a power-play goal at 7:48.
Dahlin’s second of the night and 12th of the season tied it 5-5 with 2:24 remaining in regulation.
“All in all, you’ve got a lead with a couple of minutes, you’ve got to bear down and we didn’t do it,” Foligno said. “Overtime was…nuts so it’s just one of those things you’d like it to not go to overtime.”
FLEURY PASSES BELFOUR
Fleury made his 964th career appearance, passing Ed Belfour to take sole possession of fifth place all-time among goaltenders. Fleury needs seven appearances to tie Terry Sawchuk for fourth place.
JOKIHARJU RETURN NEARING
Injured Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju is about a week away from possibly returning to action, according to Buffalo coach Don Granato. Jokiharju hasn’t played since Dec. 9 after he was injured against Pittsburgh.
TRIBUTE FOR HAMLIN
The Sabres paid tribute to Bills safety Damar Hamlin with a moment of celebration before the game. Hamlin is on the long road to recovery after he went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati on Monday night. He is now breathing on his own and briefly addressed the Bills team by video on Friday.
Fans throughout the crowd held up signs saying “DH3” with a heart in it or “Love For Damar” and were shown on the video board showing support for Hamlin. The pregame celebration saw the crowd, with many wearing Bills jerseys, rise to their feet, applauding and cheering for Hamlin.
Wild: Host St. Louis on Sunday night.
Sabres: Host Philadelphia on Monday night.
AP NHL: www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports