Tonight’s matchup with the powerful Detroit Red Wings provided a great chance for the Buffalo Sabres to reverse their fortunes. Coming off a 5-0 loss less than 24 hours ago, one would think that the Sabres would’ve come out sluggish. Fortunately, that could be no more further from the truth.
While things were scoreless through one, Buffalo came out firing on all cylinders, which kept the powerful Red Wings in check.
“I thought we had a really good first period,” said Chris Stewart. “We were really on our toes.”
This game took off in the second period, on both sides of things.
First off, penalties galore. Buffalo and Detroit combined for 12 minutes of penalties in the second period. On the scoring side of things, both Buffalo and Detroit were able to get on the score sheet.
Brian Flynn’s first goal of the season gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 6:55. Tomas Tatar’s equalizer at 12:55, which all started with a puck ricocheting off of Torrey Mitchell’s face, had things all knotted up going into the third period.
Detroit would take control of things early in the third period, when Pavel Datsyuk showed Buffalo why he is one of the most dangerous players in hockey. A wrist shot flicked by Neuvirth, Datsyuk’s 5th of the season, put Detroit up 2-1.
The Wings would continue to control the game offensively for a few minutes, but were unable to widen the one-goal gap.
Buffalo’s luck turned as the period continued on, and Chris Stewart was finally able to break the wall down.
At 13:08 of the third period, Stewart trickled the puck past Jimmy Howard. This was Stewart’s first goal of the season, and first as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
“Hopefully they keep coming,” Stewart said. “The first one (of the season) is always the hardest to get.”
Both Buffalo and Detroit keep things locked pretty tight for the remainder of the third period, which meant overtime would be needed to find a winner.
A mere 46 seconds into the extra frame, Brian Gionta was sent off for hooking.
While Buffalo killed off the penalty, they played most of the period in their own defensive zone.
” We fought back,” said Ted Nolan. “We bent a little, but we didn’t break.”
Overtime solved nothing for these two teams, and a shootout was in order.
Nyquist would score for Detroit, while Girgensons and Ennis would score for Buffalo.
“I just picked a move and did it,” Girgensons said. “I just shot it.”
With this 3-2 win, the Buffalo Sabres move to 3-9-1 with 7 points.
The Buffalo Sabres take the ice again on Wednesday night, when their opponents will be the Montreal Canadiens. Puck drops at the First Niagara Center, shortly after 7:30 PM.