Buffalo at Detroit (3/13/10)

The Red Wings were at home again tonight for the last time before they head out west. Their opponent was the Buffalo Sabres who beat them badly when they met earlier this season. This game featured an interesting matchup between brothers Ryan and Drew Miller. They had about 30 family and friends in attendance at the game since it was the first time they’ve played each other in their home state of Michigan. The goalies for tonight’s game were Jimmy Howard and Ryan Miller. If the Red Wings could win this game they would jump a point ahead of Calgary and be just one point behind Nashville, neither of whom was playing tonight.

The game started with a great pace. The Red Wings were pressuring hard at Buffalo’s end and were rewarded with a goal just two minutes in. Stuart had fired the puck hard off the back board and it came right to Datsyuk on the goal line. Datsyuk shot from a bad angle. The puck went behind Miller, hit the inside of the far goalpost and banked into the net. It was a beautiful play and it got the Red Wings off to a great start in this game.

Just a few minutes later the Red Wings scored again. Eaves brought the puck into the zone and as he was heading toward the net he was tripped up with a stick between the legs. As he was falling down he poked the puck towards Miller who wasn’t expecting it. His poke sent the puck over Miller’s stick just as he was about to play it. The puck went up into the net giving the Red Wings an early two to nothing lead.

Then Buffalo entered the Red Wings zone and shot from the point. Howard stopped it with his stick and tried to push the rebound out to Rafalski. Hecht was moving up though and positioned himself between Rafalski and Howard. Hecht poked at it and got it by Jimmy Howard and into the net. That put the Sabres back in the game making it two to one.

The Red Wings had a great first period. They doubled the Sabres in shots on goal and more than doubled them in chances even though they had only half the penalty minutes.

In the second period the Sabres had another shot on goal that Howard saved but didn’t deal well with the rebound. After the save he sent the puck right to slot with Pominville charging in. Pominville took the puck but didn’t shoot it. He dropped it off for Hecht who did shoot it and beat Howard for his and the Sabres second goal of the night. That tied it up at two each.

The tie held through the end of the second period. Although the Sabres outscored the Red Wings in the second, the Wings were still outshooting and out chancing them by a wide margin.

The Wings continued to play hard throughout the third period but weren’t able to score. With 1:13 left Buffalo was called for delay of game when Myers chipped the puck out of play from his own end. The Red Wings had several great scoring chances but weren’t able to score before time ran out.

The power play continued into overtime which gave the Red Wings 47 seconds of 4 on 3 play. Early in the overtime Lidstrom got the puck across to Rafalski with Cleary in front of Miller. Rafalski stepped up and blasted one that found a tiny opening into the net for the game winning goal.

This was a huge win for the Wings. They played great against a really good team and they got the two points they needed. Well done! Now they head out on a west coast trip that will have a major effect on the standings. First stop, Calgary.

This 2-3 win brings us to:
33-23-12
78 points

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