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Dylan Cozens scores two short-handed goals as Sabres beat Golden Knights 7-2

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Dylan Cozens capped Buffalo's five-goal surge by scoring his second short-handed goal of the game with 2:48 left, and the Sabres beat the slumping Vegas Golden Knights 7-2 on Saturday night for their fifth win in six outings.

Zemgus Girgensons scored the go-ahead goal with 5:14 left in the second period as the Sabres rallied after squandering a 2-0 lead. Jeff Skinner, Casey Mittelstadt and defenseman Owen Power each had a goal and two assists, and Kyle Okposo also scored for Buffalo, which won consecutive home games for just the second time this season.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 22 shots to improve to 7-2 in his past nine starts while allowing just 18 goals.

Brendan Brisson and William Karlsson scored for Vegas, which dropped to 2-6-1 in its past nine. Logan Thompson finished with 28 saves, and has gone 1-3-1 in his past five while giving up a combined 18 goals.

The Golden Knights’ struggles coincide with a rash of injuries to forwards Jack Eichel, Mark Stone and William Carrier. Eichel, who missed his 19th game, has resumed skating since having knee surgery and expected to return within the next two games.

The Sabres’ finally broke out on offense after being limited to three goals or fewer in each of their previous eight outings. And they ended a string of seven straight games decided by one goal, with Buffalo winning five.

After Brisson and Karlsson scored 2:42 apart early in the second period, Girgensons was set up by teammate Eric Robinson forcing Alec Martinez to cough up the puck along the right boards. Robinson immediately fed Girgensons, who drove toward the net, sidestepped Alex Pietrangelo, and snapped a shot inside the left post.

The goal came after the Sabres were foiled on numerous chances after squandering a 2-0 lead earlier in the period. Buffalo’s best scoring chances came with 9:09 left, when Thompson stopped Rasmus Dahlin in close. The puck dribbled under the goalie and just wide of the post, where Skinner got it and tried to wrap it around the other side, only to have his shot blocked by Shea Theodore.

Skinner’s game-opening goal was his 20th, marking the 10th time the 14-year veteran has scored that many.

UP NEXT

Golden Knights: At Columbus on Monday night to close a four-game trip.

Sabres: Host Winnipeg on Sunday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

John Wawrow, The Associated Press