EditorsNote: 2nd graf, change multiple-point to multiple-goal; smaller changes elsewhere
Zach Parise netted two goals to power the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 win over the host Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
The 35-year-old Parise tallied twice in the first period, marking the 49th multiple-goal game of his 15-year career.
Jason Zucker tallied an empty-net goal and an assist, Jonas Brodin scored and Alex Stalock made 30 saves for the Wild, who improved to 10-1-1 in their last 12 games in Buffalo.
Kevin Fiala posted an assist, giving him seven points (four goals, three assists) in his last eight games. Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour scored, and Linus Ullmark stopped 22 shots for Buffalo, which dropped to 2-7-2 in their last 11.
Having lost five forwards in the last five games, the injury-ravaged Sabres skated with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, including rear guard John Gilmour, who played on the fourth line as a winger.
The Wild grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period after Parise — one of club’s hottest players — forced a penalty on a strong forecheck, and Minnesota killed off an ensuing Buffalo power play.
A few seconds after the Sabres’ power play ended, Parise buried his seventh goal of the season at 7:14. Joel Eriksson Ek notched the lone assist.
Parise literally chipped in his second goal with 3.6 seconds remaining in the period. Parked to Ullmark’s right, the Minnesota native redirected a long shot by Ryan Suter into the net for a power-play goal.
Parise’s two goals pushed him to eight points in his last eight games (five goals, three assists) and gave him a five-game point streak against Buffalo.
Brodin potted his first goal of the season after a slick pass from Zucker, taking the puck and backhanding a shot in close past Ullmark at 5:29.
Jack Eichel, who had scored Buffalo’s last five goals over a five-period stretch, fought Eriksson Ek at 7:32 — earning the captain a double-minor roughing penalty that kept the Sabres’ top scorer in the box for four minutes.
Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba was not on the bench in the third period, and the Wild announced he would not return in the game.
Buffalo pulled Ullmark for the extra skater with 4:30 left, and Montour scored his first of the season on assists from Eichel and Victor Olofsson at 16:11.
However, Zucker’s empty-netter on assists from Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu clinched the win at 17:46.
—Field Level Media