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Wild, Fernandez Shut Down Sabres 3-1

October 29, 2003

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Manny Fernandez stopped 32 shots, leading the Minnesota Wild past the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Wes Walz, Alexander Daigle and Andrew Brunette scored for the Wild, who got a big boost from their special teams.

Minnesota went 2-for-4 on the power play and scored while down a man in winning for just the third time in 10 games this season.

Walz’s short-handed goal at 17:24 of the first period made it 1-0, and Daigle added a power-play goal in the second when he rocketed a one-timer from the top of the right circle past Martin Biron for his team-leading fourth goal of the season.

The top pick in the 1993 draft signed with the Wild at the end of September.

Brunette scored his first goal of the season early in the third period on a power play, deflecting a slap shot from the blue line by Travis Roche.

The Sabres were finally able to beat Fernandez at 7:03 of the third period when Dmitri Kalinin scored on a rebound following a shot by Adam Mair.

Fernandez preserved the win with point-blank stops in the third on Miroslav Satan and Curtis Brown.

Pascal Dupuis played his first game of the season for the Wild after signing a three-year contract Sunday. Dupuis, Minnesota’s second-leading scorer last season with 48 points, played on a line with Jim Dowd and Matt Johnson.

Minnesota again played without its leading scorer from last season, Marian Gaborik, who is holding out because of a contract dispute. Talks between the Wild and Gaborik broke off Monday with the sides nearly $4 million apart on a proposed three-year deal.

Buffalo had its three-game winning streak snapped, and Chris Drury failed to register a point for the first time in seven games.

The Sabres returned home from a 4-2-0 road trip.

Notes: The Sabres honored former player Rob Ray with a pregame ceremony. Ray played 13 seasons with Buffalo before he was traded to Ottawa last March. Now he is part of the Sabres’ television broadcast team. ... Minnesota C Sergei Zholtok missed his third game due to a heart problem. Zholtok fainted in the second period Oct. 21 against Calgary. ... Minnesota placed forward Brent Burns on the injured list with a separated right shoulder. ... Minnesota is the only team that Buffalo D James Patrick has not recorded a point against in his 21-year NHL career. ... The win was the first for Minnesota this season when leading after the first period. ... Fernandez entered ranked 32nd in the league with a 3.02 goals-against average in five games. Last season, he finished 10th with a 2.24 GAA.

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