The Sabres get a different hero every night

Linus Ullmark takes home the No. 1 star honors in the win

Paul Hamilton
November 24, 2018 - 10:55 pm

Photo: Raj Mehta - USA TODAY Sports


Detroit, MI (WGR 550) - The Sabres and Red Wings were both very sloppy in the first period, but it made for entertaining hockey. The two teams combined for 30 shots, but only one went into the net.

Phil Housley decided to go back to the power play unit of Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Kyle Okposo, Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Ristolainen and it only took 49 seconds for it to work. Skinner was again in front of the net and scored his league-leading 18th goal.

Linus Ullmark was in goal and had to be sharp, making a big save on Dennis Cholowski coming down the slot and Justin Abdelkader alone in front.

His best save came when the Wings dumped the puck in and it was going wide. The puck hit something in the ice and bounced towards the vacated net. Ullmark had come out to play it and just got a piece of the puck by dragging his back pad.

One observation I want to pass on is the work that Kyle Okposo puts into each and every shift. In this game, his motor was in high gear and he never stopped or gave up on a play. This is something I’ve seen from him in almost every game.

Tage Thompson is another one. He got himself loose in the slot and just missed with a bullet that he got off in a hurry. Thompson had another sneaky wrister where the puck looked to be too far out in front of him, but he flipped his wrist and let it fly, beating Howard but hitting the post.

The best was yet to come in the third when on the power play, Rasmus Dahlin put it right in Thompson’s wheelhouse in the left circle and he let an absolute cannon go that was in and out of the net before Jimmy Howard even knew.

It seems like Thompson really started to find himself and his game when Phil Housley inserted him on the left wing.

In the second period, Dylan Larkin scored a goal from the wall that Ullmark admitted he should’ve stopped, but he stopped at least three clean cut breakaways, including Larkin in the third period when Jack Eichel passed up a shot and Larkin stripped him of the puck and walked right in.

Remi Elie showed that he had rested legs as he was flying in this game and created three great scoring chances. The last one in the third period was reviewed by Toronto, but they concluded that the puck never crossed the line.

It wasn’t just Detroit getting the breaks as Howard had to make a big save on Johan Larsson’s 2-on-1, and Elie missed the net when Evan Rodrigues stole the puck and found him wide open.

Ullmark earned the No. 1 star just by his performance in the regular game, but he also stopped 6-of-7 shots in the shootout. Buffalo scored twice on a phenomenal deke by Thompson and a backhand deke under the cross bar by Sam Reinhart.

Buffalo has used patience during this nine-game winning streak and now they find themselves with the most points in the National Hockey League.

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