The Minnesota Wild led through two periods, but the Buffalo Sabres scored twice in the third to defeat Minnesota 3-2 in each team's preseason opener on Monday.
The Sabres took their first lead of the game while killing a penalty in the third period. Jack Eichel managed to get pastJared Spurgeon at his defensive blue line, and carried the puck the distance on a breakaway, slipping it through the legs of Darcy Kuemper to make it 3-2 with a shorthanded goal.
The Sabres tied the game at two early in the third period on aMatt Moulson goal. Eichel drove toward the net, and sent a pass through the crease that deflected off Moulson and in.
A Mikael Granlund power-play goal gave the Wild a 2-1 lead in the second period. After drawing a tripping penalty along the boards, Granlund was able to score off a rebound from the bottom of the circle.
The puck got worked inside to Mikko Koivu, who fed it back toRyan Suter at the point. He worked it quickly to Zach Parise at the dot, and Parise's one-time shot hit the post, deflecting right to Granlund's stick for a tap-in.
The Wild nearly took the lead just under three minutes into the second period. Koivu sent a cross-ice saucer pass onto the stick of Nino Niederreiter, but his shot hit the post and deflected wide.
The Sabres tied the game with 1:32 remaining in the first period. Forward Marcus Foligno gained the blue line, and took a shot toward goal. It was deflected by Johan Larsson, careened off the pad of Kuemper, and onto the stick of Nicolas Deslauriers who scored on the rebound to make it 1-1.
Minnesota controlled puck possession for most of the opening period, leading in shots 9-1 after 8:09 of play.
The Wild scored the game's first goal just past the midway mark of the first period. Zach Parise sent a point-to-point pass to Spurgeon. He walked down to the circle and with Jason Pominville screening in front, fired a slap shot over the glove of Chad Johnson to make it 1-0.