|Date of game: 11/13/2014
Recap: Minnesota vs. Buffalo
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Nino Niederreiter recorded his first career hat trick as Minnesota rode a four-goal first period to a 6-3 triumph over Buffalo at Xcel Energy Center.
Kyle Brodziak, Ryan Carter and Jared Spurgeon also lit the lamp for the Wild, who put a four-game losing streak to rest. Charlie Coyle and Justin Fontaine each chipped in a pair of assists.
"I don't care what the opponent says or what their record is, it's difficult to win in this league," said Carter.
Darcy Kuemper was yanked 6:24 into the contest after allowing goals on the only two shots he faced. Niklas Backstrom picked up the win in relief by making 25 stops the rest of the way.
Rasmus Ristolainen, Zemgus Girgensons and Torrey Mitchell scored for the Sabres, losers in five straight and eight of nine. Jhonas Enroth allowed five goals on 38 shots in defeat.
Spurgeon's man-advantage marker with 6:10 remaining in the second period boosted the Wild to a 5-2 advantage.
Niederreiter hit the right post on a solid chance to finish off a hat trick midway through the third, then Mitchell's short-side tally with 7:04 to play in regulation reduced the Buffalo deficit to two.
Enroth was pulled for an extra skater with more than 2 1/2 minutes left and Niederreiter made no mistake into the empty net to seal the outcome a short time later.
"It's a great feeling to get my first career hat trick," said Niederreiter. "At the end of the day, I feel like we did a lot of good things tonight."
Ristolainen's tap-in of a Matt Moulson rebound occurred just 63 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Carter evened the score, deftly knocking the puck out of the air in the crease with the shaft of his stick at 6:07, and only seven seconds later, Niederreiter put one past Enroth.
Girgensons evened the game a mere 10 seconds after on a wrister off the rush placed just under the crossbar, and when Backstrom entered, Brodziak snuck one home from the right post at 9:21.
Niederreiter hit the net again on a power play with 2:08 left by redirecting a Mikael Granlund offering from the slot, and the hosts led 4-2 at intermission.Game Notes
Prior to Thursday, Niederreiter never scored more than once in a regular-
season tilt ... Minnesota has won back-to-back home games against Buffalo for
the first time since joining the NHL for the 2000-01 season, while the Sabres
have taken five of the eight contests in the Twin Cities ... Prior to the
contest, the Wild placed forward Zach Parise on injured reserve, retroactive
to Nov. 4, as he continues to recover from a concussion and activated Spurgeon