Sabres fall in a shootout, 4-3 to the Red Wings

Buffalo never led in a home game against the NHL's worst team

Kyle Powell
February 06, 2020 - 7:11 pm
Jeff Skinner

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

It was a frustrating effort on Thursday night as the Buffalo Sabres fell to the lowly Detroit Red Wings, 4-3 in a shootout at KeyBank Center.

With the loss, the blue and gold grabbed only three points out of a possible 10 as their five-game homestand reached its end.

The Red Wings opened the scoring early against Sabres rookie goalie Jonas Johansson, making his first career start in the National Hockey League. Moments after the Sabres were unsuccessful on the game's first power play opportunity, Detroit forward Dylan Larkin took a tough-angle shot from the left-wing boards that snuck in between Johansson and the post. It was Larkin's 14th goal of the season and snapped a 133-minute scoreless streak for the visitors.

Shortly after the goal, it appeared as though Buffalo had tied the game, but after a Red Wings challenge for goaltender interference, the goal was waved off. Defenseman Lawrence Pilut snapped a shot towards goaltender Jonathan Bernier quickly after a faceoff and was deflected in by forward Scott Wilson. It was deemed after the review that his tip-in came too deep in Bernier's crease, hindering the veteran netminder from making the save.

Buffalo found itsself on another power play with 1:15 left in the first period, but it was quickly negated by a high-sticking double-minor against Jack Eichel just seven seconds into the man advantage.

The teams skated 4-on-4 for the rest of the opening frame, and with just seconds left on the clock, Larkin scored his second goal of the night.

Moments after Sam Reinhart slipped a puck through a gaping goal crease, Larkin and Robby Fabbri broke loose on a 2-on-1 and Larkin was able to backhand his shot over the glove of Johansson to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead.

 Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second period of play. Each team took a penalty in the period, while they also created some feeble chances and played some lackluster hockey. The Red Wings went on to outshoot the Sabres, 9-8 during the middle stanza.

Buffalo finally got on the board with 5:48 gone in the third period when forward Jimmy Vesey deposited a rebound off a shot from Conor Sheary into the back of the net. Vesey's seventh goal of the season, and his first since Jan. 16 against the Dallas Stars, cut the deficit in half to 2-1.

The Sabres found the equalizer less than three minutes later as defenseman Colin Miller skated down towards the right-wing circle and let a shot loose on Bernier. Wilson was able to get a piece of the wrist shot in flight and tipped it past the Red Wings netminder, much like his overturned goal in the opening period. This time, the goal stood as clean and it tied the game at 2-2.

It was Wilson's first goal of the 2019-20 campaign in just his third game, as his season debut with the team did not come until the turn of the new year.

Detroit re-claimed their lead with just 6:04 left in regulation while on the man advantage when forward Tyler Bertuzzi beat Johansson for his 18th goal of the season.

With their net empty with less than three minutes remaining, the Sabres went to work and applied late pressure in an effort to tie the game up.

With 47 seconds left to play, Rasmus Ristolainen makes a play to pinch and avoid the Red Wings from clearing the puck out of their zone. He ended up corraling the puck and fanned on a shot attempt on Bernier, but Evan Rodrigues ended up collecting the loose puck and snuck it past a sprawling Bernier to tie the game at 3-3 and force overtime.

Each team was able to generate a couple of chances in the overtime period, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.

In the shootout, both Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart were denied by Bernier, while Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou both scored at the other end on their attempts against Johansson. Detroit earned the win on the road, earned just their 13th win of the season and ended their nine-game losing streak along the way.




Scoring Summary:

First Period:

DET: 4:23 - Dylan Larkin (14) (Trevor Daley, Robby Fabbri); 19:59 - Dylan Larkin (15) (Robby Fabbri, Filip Hronek)

Second Period:


Third Period:

BUF: 5:48 - Jimmy Vesey (7) (Conor Sheary, Brandon Montour); 8:29 - Scott Wilson (1) (Colin Miller); 19:13 - Evan Rodrigues (4) (Rasmus Ristolainen)
DET: 13:56 - Tyler Bertuzzi (18) PPG (Valtteri Filppula, Madison Bowey)





Round 1:

BUF: Jack Eichel - Save
DET: Dylan Larkin - GOAL

Round 2:

BUF: Sam Reinhart - Miss
DET: Andreas Athanasiou - GOAL


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 18:52 - Jack Eichel (High-sticking - 4 min.)
DET: 1:56 - Justin Abdelkader (Interference - 2 min.); 18:45 - Darren Helm (Hooking - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 12:59 - Jake McCabe (High-sticking - 2 min.)
DET: 9:29 - Gustav Lindstrom (Tripping - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 3:03 - Jimmy Vesey (Slashing - 2 min.); 12:13 - Evan Rodrigues (High-sticking - 2 min.)
DET: 3:03 - Alex Biega (Cross-checking - 2 min.); 6:00 - Givani Smith (Slashing - 2 min.)




Strategic Financial Solutions Complete Stats Of The Game

Strategic Financial Solutions Stats of the Game:


BUF: 32 (8, 8, 14, 2)
DET: 21 (7, 9, 4, 1)


BUF: Jonas Johansson - 18 saves
DET: Jonathan Bernier - 29 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 4 (0%)
DET: 1 for 4 (25%)

Three Stars presented by Losi and Gangi:

  1. Dylan Larkin - DET
  2. Robby Fabbri - DET
  3. Jimmy Vesey - DET

What's Next:

The Sabres hit the road for the first time since the All-Star Break on Friday as they travel to the Big Apple to take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. with the Paul William Beltz Pre-Game Show kicking off on WGR at 6 p.m. with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog.

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