Sabres' Ullmark earns a 41-save shutout in Detroit

Both Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel have two points in the win

Paul Hamilton
October 25, 2019 - 10:42 pm

Photo: Tim Fuller - USA TODAY Sports

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(WGR 550) - The Sabres didn’t seem to have too much energy on Friday in Detroit. About midway through the game, things changed thanks to Jake McCabe and the Jack Eichel line. McCabe’s screened shot found the net, and from that point forward, the Sabres started moving their feet, supporting each other and getting zone time.

Eichel had some great work behind the net before McCabe's goal, and came out along the wall to Sam Reinhart. Victor Olofsson read the play perfectly and went straight to the net. He totally took Jimmy Howard’s vision away, and he had no idea that McCabe even let the shot go.

Before the Sabres got going, Linus Ullmark had to be very sharp. Right off the hop, Marcus Johansson gave the puck away, giving Valtteri Filppula a clear cut breakaway. Ullmark made the save, and Johansson compounded the play by doing a drive by, allowing Andreas Athanasiou get an open rebound chance.

Ullmark had to make another big save after Rasmus Dahlin came from behind the net and right up the slot, when the Red Wings stole the puck and had the quick chance.

On a power play, Eichel couldn’t handle the puck along the wall, and next thing you knew, Jacob de la Rose had a shorthanded 2-on-1 chance.

The Sabres started denying the Red Wings the zone and supported each other on the forecheck. That lasted into the third for a while.

The next goal was Olofsson in the right circle on the power play getting setup for a one-timer. He faked it and slid a perfect pass to Reinhart off the post, and he steered home his fifth goal of the season into the empty net.

As the period got late, the Sabres seemed to fall back, especially in the last three minutes when Howard was pulled. Buffalo never got possession and 10 of the Red Wings' 21 shots in the period came in those three minutes. Two of those minutes came during a 6-on-4 power play chance.

Ullmark made 41 saves to get his first shutout of the season. It’s funny that he made 20 saves in the first 40 minutes, followed by 21 saves in the final 20 minutes.

Because of injury, John Gilmour played his first game as a member of the Sabres. The defenseman played 17:20 and had two shots on goal.

Rasmus Ristolainen played 26:01 with five hits and three blocked shots.

The win puts Buffalo at 9-2-1 for 19 points, which gives them a five-point lead over both Boston and Toronto, an eight point lead over Tampa Bay and a nine point lead over Montreal.

Don’t sleep on the Arizona Coyotes, who visit the Sabres on Monday. The Coyotes are 6-1-1 after starting the season with two losses.

Ralph Krueger has given the team Saturday off.

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