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First-place Wild stunned by lowly Sabres

The Wild looked flat in their first game since Sunday.
Kirill Kaprizov

The Minnesota Wild entered Thursday's game atop the Western Conference. The Buffalo Sabres entered in the midst of an eternal rebuild.

But on this night in St. Paul, the Sabres were able to get the best of the Wild, handing them a shocking 3-2 shootout loss.

Playing their first game since Sunday, the Wild looked sluggish in the first period. Despite being outshot by Buffalo 21-6, Minnesota was able to get on the board first with Jon Merrill’s third goal of the season.

But the Wild’s struggles continued into the second period. Dylan Cozens tied the game for Buffalo with his eighth goal of the season before Rasmussen Dahlin high-sticked Joel Eriksson-Ek. 

Minnesota couldn't convert on the four-minute power play but a wrister from Kirill Kaprizov later in the period got past Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and trickled into the back of the net.

Kaprizov's 11th goal of the season gave the Wild a 2-1 lead but they couldn't get out of their own way. Mark Pysyk tied the game with just over eight minutes to go and the game eventually went to a shootout.

The Wild couldn't solve Luukkanen on this night, who stopped Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Fiala before Kaprizov hit the post on Minnesota's third attempt. 

Although Talbot held serve in the first two rounds, Tage Thompson flipped the puck over Talbot's glove in the third to complete the upset.

The loss marked the first time Minnesota has lost three straight games under Dean Evason. The Wild will try to snap the streak when they host the NHL-leading Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon.

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