In a game in which they had nothing to play for, Chad Johnson and the Buffalo Sabres showed up for their final time on national television this season. However, the Sabres didn’t have their best showing as they were defeated, 3-2, at Joe Louis Arena on Monday night.
Although it didn’t look like it for a majority of the game, this turned out to be an interesting game. The Red Wings seemed to control the play, but the Sabres stormed back to make it close and just fell short of tying it up.
Luke Glendening’s goal with three minutes remaining looked to seal the win, but not so fast. Just 10 seconds later, Zemgus Girgensons responded with a great shot to snap Jimmy Howard’s shutout bid.
Then, a minute later, Sam Reinhart rocketed a shot off the post and in to bring the Sabres within a goal, all with 1:49 left to play. Buffalo continued to apply pressure for the remainder of regulation, but the scoring was done. The Red Wings hung on for a much-needed victory.
After a tough 7-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday, Detroit cleaned up their act. The Red Wings came into the game with a need for points as they are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years.
Buffalo finished the game with 20 shots, one more than their season-low of 19. The Sabres haven’t had much luck against Detroit, dropping 17 of the last 19 meetings between the two teams.
Dylan Larkin and Riley Sheahan tallied the other goals for the Red Wings, The Sabres struggled to create opportunities, and only recorded nine shots on goal through the first two periods. With the chances they did have, the Sabres couldn’t convert on them.
Howard stopped 18 of 20 shots on the night. At the other end, Johnson allowed two goals on 28 shots, another solid performance for him.
The Sabres also lost a forward on the night. Evander Kane was injured during a play in the second period and did not return to the game. Ryan O’Reilly was on a line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart for the 3rd period.
The Sabres get right back at it Tuesday night as they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.