Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo Sabres’

Detroit at Buffalo (2/26/11)

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

The Red Wings started their five game road trip tonight in Buffalo. Joey MacDonald was in net for the Wings and the Sabres started Ryan Miller. Filppula and Modano both returned to the lineup tonight so that’s excellent news for the Wings. Mursak was sent back to Grand Rapids and unfortunately Drew Miller was a healthy scratch. He had been expecting to compete against his brother and his parents and other family members were on hand to watch the game live so it’s too bad he wasn’t in the lineup. Rafalski was out with back spasms but he’ll be joining the team for the rest of the road trip. They’ll return to Detroit to pick him up and drop off Franzen so he can be with his wife who’s expecting to deliver their first child soon. Salei’s wife is also about to deliver a baby but they live near L.A. so when the Wings land there he’ll be heading right out to join her.

It started out like a home game for Detroit in the sense that they were badly outplayed in the first period and spotted the Sabres two goals. The Sabres outshot the Wings 15 to 7 in the first period. Their first goal was a rare one by defenseman Sekera. It was a hell of a shot though. He roofed a backhander perfectly over MacDonald’s shoulder. Their second goal was a wrister by Grier. So the Wings ended the first period down two to nothing. Having just played the night before, the Sabres seemed more warmed up than tired.

In the second period the Red Wings got back to their game. They started playing much better defensively and scored a power play goal. Datsyuk shot from the slot area and the rebound came right back to him. He snapped it back at the net before Miller could get himself reset. That brought the Wings to within one.

In the third period the Sabres just collapsed back to their own end and played a purely defensive game. They had no fore check and were content to just dump the puck back into the Red Wings’ end whenever they got it. That meant that Detroit had lots of time in Buffalo’s z0ne and were able to keep up the pressure. That’s a dangerous thing to allow the Red Wings but Ryan Miller was playing very well and the Wings weren’t able to beat him. Until almost the end, that is. In the final minute the Wings pulled Joey MacDonald and Hudler came out in his place. Hudler jumped over the boards and charged straight for the net. Just as he reached the slot area a rebound bounced off Miller right to him and he one-timed it into the net for the game tying goal. The first goal of Hudler’s NHL career was against Miller in Buffalo so it was fitting that he scored one tonight and at a critical time, too!

The final minute passed with no goals and the game went to overtime. There were some great saves at both ends but no goals in the OT so it went to the shootout. First was Stafford and MacDonald stopped him. Then Datsyuk went and hit the water bottle with a beautiful backhand. Vanek was next and MacDonald stopped him as well. So, Hudler came up next with the game on his stick. He moved in on Miller, made a few dekes and then released the same backhand shot that Datsyuk had scored with. The puck hit the crossbar and bounced off Miller’s back and into the net for the game winner. Hudler was mobbed by the team and the Wings checked off a win to start their road trip.

It was a great comeback for the Wings and a great game for Hudler. After being outshot in the first period, the Wings outshot the Sabres in the second and third periods 12 to 7 and 16 to 7, respectively. They really need to get these slow starts under control though because this won’t cut it in the playoffs.

This 3-2 win brings us to:
38-18-6
82 points

Buffalo at Detroit (3/13/10)

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

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