The Wild will hold just its second practice in nearly two weeks on Friday, but even rarer than the session on tap is the outcome that preceded it.

For the first time since Dean Evason took over as coach in mid-February 2020, the Wild has dropped three games in a row in the regular season after a lackluster 3-2 shootout loss to the lowly Sabres on Thursday in front of 18,022 that also ended the team's six-game win streak at Xcel Energy Center.

"It's a wake-up call for us," Jon Merrill said. "When you're winning, everything feels good and you don't really have to sit back and address the mistakes as much. You kinda just ride the wave. But definitely right now, we gotta dig in and we gotta get ourselves out of this."

Buffalo's Tage Thompson was the only player to score in the shootout after misses from the Wild's Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov.

This is the Wild's longest non-playoffs skid since the team suffered four straight setbacks Jan.5-14, 2020. The rut comes on the heels of a season-longest eight-game win streak.

"We probably deserved worse," Evason said. "We weren't good. We weren't good right from the start. We weren't good in the middle. We weren't good at the end, all of us. We weren't very good.

"We need some practice."

BOXSCORE: Buffalo 3, Wild 2 (SO)

Goalie Cam Talbot deserves credit for helping the Wild get to extra time, but Talbot was critical of his play despite a hefty workload that resulted in 38 saves.

"I just feel like I left too many secondary opportunities out there for them," he said. "In a game that we weren't creating a ton ourselves, I've got to settle things down in our zone."

The Sabres controlled possession in the first period, and they threw a jaw-dropping 21 shots on net. But Talbot blocked all of them, and the Wild surprisingly escaped the period with a lead after a one-timer from Merrill at 10 minutes, 11 seconds.

"We came out pretty flat obviously in the first period and didn't really get a whole lot better from there," Talbot said of the Wild, which was playing for the first time since Sunday after having Tuesday's game against Carolina postponed because of four Hurricanes players testing positive for COVID-19.

Talbot made one more stop in the second, his 22nd, before Buffalo finally put a puck behind him.

The goal came after a Talbot turnover behind the net, with the Sabres working the puck to the front and then Dylan Cozens deflecting in a Henri Jokiharju shot at 8:05.

"I gave one away and created two scoring chances there," Talbot said. "So tonight was more on me, but we just have to find our legs and energy again."

The Wild had plenty of chances to atone for the miscue.

Only 20 seconds later, the team received a four-minute power play and unleashed five shots on net during the advantage. But none got by Buffalo goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukonen.

Not until a dribbler by Kaprizov with 56 seconds left in the second did the Wild finally capitalize again vs. Luukonen, who finished with 30 saves.

But the Sabres didn't retreat and with 7:57 left in the third period, and they again tied the game after Mark Pysyk's shot sailed by Talbot.

"We gotta respect teams," Jordan Greenway said. "We can't just come out and expect to win and have the other team just roll over. We gotta come out and play the way that we were to allow us to have the winning streak that we did. It's just been slipping a little bit."

By then, the Wild was playing without captain Jared Spurgeon, who left earlier in the third after aggravating his recent lower-body injury. He already has been ruled out of Saturday's game vs. Florida.

"It's not good," Evason said.

As for the rest of the team, it can use the looming practice to reset.

"Obviously, I think that we need one," Talbot said. "You look at our game tonight, there's obviously some stuff that we can correct, and we'll correct it [Friday] and come ready to play on Saturday."