Detroit at Buffalo (4/6/09)

Tonight the Red Wings played the second night of back to back games after beating the Wild yesterday. They traveled to Buffalo to take on the Sabres. Buffalo is another team fighting for every point to make the playoffs so the Red Wings expected to have their hands full once again. Miller was the goalie for the Sabres and Osgood was in for Detroit.

Early in the game both teams had some good scoring chances. Buffalo seemed to be doing a better job of puck possession and were getting more shots. Osgood looked sharp and made several awesome saves.

Late in the first period Franzen was hit with a high stick just below his eye and was badly cut during a scoring chance. The referees missed the high stick which cost the Red Wings four minutes of power play time.

Late in the second period Detroit finally got a power play. Osgood moved the puck up the ice quickly during a Buffalo change. The Red Wings went to work before the Sabres were set. The puck came to Stuart at the top of the slot. He released a shot with Holmstrom in front of the net blocking Miller’s view. The puck found its way through everyone and into the net to give the Red Wings the one nothing lead. It look like the puck redirected slightly off of Holmstrom’s knee but it was awarded to Stuart so it must not have touched him.

Not long after play continued there was a pretty good sized brawl. Filppula cleanly hit MacArthur and leveled him. Butler came in and started shoving Filppula and a crowd gathered. Samuelsson punched Roy to the ice and that really ticked him off so he got up and came after Samuelsson. Stafford grabbed Ericsson and nailed him with a few good ones. Then Ericsson wrestled Stafford to the ice and wailed on him with several punches to the face. When all was said and done, the Sabres had a two minute power play. However, right after the faceoff Connolly chopped Stuart’s stick in half and was called for slashing. That ended the power play after just two seconds.

After two periods the shots on goal were even at 21.

Early in the third period, still 4 on 4, Hossa forechecked hard and got control of the puck along the boards behind the net. He passed it to Zetterberg and Zetterberg passed it to Lidstrom at the point. Lidstrom took a shot and by that time Hossa was back to the front of the net. He picked up the rebound after Lidstrom’s shot, went skate to stick with it and shot it in. That gave the Wings a two nothing lead and it all started with a great job on the initial forecheck by Hossa. That was Hossa’s 40th goal of the season. He becomes only eighth player in league history to score 40 goals with three different teams.

Nearing the halfway point of the third period Datsyuk won a faceoff back to Ericsson who shot the puck into the zone from center ice. Holmstrom dug it out from the side boards and got it to Datsyuk. He made a move on his defender and took it to the slot. Then he dished it to Hossa who was approaching from the other side. Hossa dropped to one knee and one timed it into the back of the net. It was a beautiful play all around to give the Wings a three nothing lead.

A few second later Buffalo got one back. Osgood made the initial stop but the rebound dropped by the side of the open net. Osgood thought it was in his glove but it wasn’t. Cleary tried to clear the puck out of there but Gaustad was there and chipped it in before he could do so.

With about two minutes to go Buffalo pulled their goalie. The Sabres did their best to score but Lidstrom scored an empty net goal to make it four to one. That was it for this one.

Detroit played an excellent road game tonight. They’re really looking good right now. Osgood is playing well. To me they look playoff ready right now. Let’s keep it going for the next three games.

This 4-1 win brings us to:
51-19-9
111 points

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