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NHL: Buffalo 3, Minnesota 2 (OT)

March 6, 2011 at 8:48 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 6 (UPI) -- Drew Stafford's goal 46 seconds into overtime Sunday handed Buffalo a crucial 3-2 victory over Minnesota that boosted the Sabres into a playoff spot.

Stafford picked the puck up at the blue line, shook off a check by Brent Burns and crossed in front of Minnesota goalie Jose Theodore before tucking the puck behind him into the net for the victory.

Jason Pominville and Rob Neidermayer also scored, and Jhonas Enroth stopped 24-of-26 shots for the Sabres, who vaulted over idle Carolina into the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff slot with their fifth win in seven games.

Warren Peters and Marek Zidlicky scored for Minnesota, which fell to 4-5-2 in their last 11 contests.

The Wild still gained a standings point, however, pulling to within one of Los Angeles for the last Western Conference post-season seed.

Theodore stopped 30-of-33 shots for Minnesota.

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