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Minnesota Wild vs. Buffalo Sabres - The Morning After

Wild win 3-2, giving up a late, late, late goal to bring it within 1.

Goals by Owen Nolan, Antti Miettinen and Brent Burns (shorthanded - ok, really an own goal by the sexiest man in Finland, but you take what you can get) all in the first period, gave the Wild a nice lead again. This time they kept it, unlike in Chicago.

Josh Harding Update (thanks to Russo's Rants)

Scary incident tonight when Martin Skoula and Dylan Hunter were in a stick battle as they cut through the crease. Skoula’s blade squeezed through Josh Harding’s cat eyehole. He threw off his helmet and went down in visible pain, or maybe panic, because of where that stick clipped.

He was taken to a local hospital for precautionary measures, and the Wild is saying he has a right eye abrasion.

I was talking to a couple Wild scratched players afterward up here in the press box, and they say that’s why the cat eye helmet is not permitted in college and juniors. Remember, a few years back, a puck actually got lodged in Brian Boucher’s mask.

Not much for me to say after last night, so let's get to the links and highlights.

10-1 Game highlights

Tom Reid Post Game Interview with Burnsie

What the papers are saying:

Jacques Lemaire on Josh Harding's performance (courtesy of the Pioneer Press)

Harding had been terrific, just part of what had been a fun night for the Wild, who welcomed back Brent Burns and Pierre-Marc Bouchard from injuries and improved to 4-1-0 in exhibition games. Harding left with a 3-1 lead after stopping 26 shots.

"He played well, really well," coach Jacques Lemaire said of Harding, who gave up four unanswered goals in a 4-3 loss at Chicago on Friday.

"You could tell, every shot he had, he was on top of his crease and ready for the shot and controlled rebounds most of the night. He was very solid."

Bouchard being Bouchard (Star Tribune)

After Antti Miettinen gave the Wild a 1-0 lead, Bouchard hit Nolan at the side of the net with a pass from the blue line. "Just landed on his stick," Lemaire said. "That's what Butch can do."

Nolan redirected the puck for his first goal of the preseason and the first of what the Wild hopes are many Bouchard-to-Nolan goals. "Hopefully," Bouchard said. "[Nolan's] got experience and skills."

Notes from the other side (The Buffalo News)

"We batted one in ourselves. We didn't make many mistakes, but every mistake we made went in," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "But we still made the mistakes. We took some needless penalties and gave the opposition a little bit of life."

What they're saying at Die By the Blade

Up next: Wild at Blue Jackets, 6 p.m. Friday, WCCO-AM 830