WILD 6, SABRES 2
(St. Paul, MN) — Nino Niederreiter had a hat trick in his return from injury, Mikko Koivu contributed a goal and two assists, and the finally fully healthy Minnesota Wild beat Buffalo.
Niederreiter, who missed the previous five games because of a lower leg injury, needed less than 25 minutes of game time to get the second hat trick of his seven-year career. His parents were even in attendance from his native Switzerland.
Niederreiter scored just 69 seconds in, snapping a behind-the-net pass from Mikael Granlund beneath the pads of Sabres goalie Robin Lehner. Granlund had three assists.
Devan Dubnyk took a shutout into the third period for the Wild, until Sam Reinhart scored early and Evander Kane got a goal late. Dubnyk is 11-2-1 in his last 15 starts since Nov. 9.
Daniel Winnik and Charlie Coyle also scored for the Wild, who improved to 11-1-1 in their last 13 home games.
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(photo courtesy of Wild.com)