An impressive start was overshadowed as the Red Wings rallied and took control in the latter half of the game. Detroit came back from three goals down to defeat Buffalo by a 6-4 score on Sunday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Henrik Zetterberg recorded a hat trick, all of which came in the third period and the Red Wings used a three goal second period to grab momentum.
Petr Mrazek was pulled after allowing three goal on seven shots. Backup goaltender Tom McCollum, a native of Amherst, NY, was sent into the net, making his first NHL appearance of the season and just the second of his career. Since the goaltending change, the game changed dramatically.
McCollum ended up earning his first NHL win and stopped seven of the eight shots he faced.. The Sabres could only muster 15 shots on goal all game, including just one in the second period.
Drew Stafford opened the scoring early in the first period, beating Petr Mrazek with a snap shot just 1:46 into the game.
Tyler Ennis took a shot from a sharp angle besides the net and watched the puck deflect off a defenseman’s stick and go into the net, putting the Sabres out to a 2-0 advantage.
Ennis remained involved on the scoresheet as he fired a shot towards the net on the power play. Chris Stewart was screening Mrazek and was credited with the goal after it deflected off his stick.
According to the Sabres, the team had their first three goal lead against Detroit since October 13th, 2009 and it was their first three goal lead at Joe Louis Arena since January of 1992.
Tyson Strachan got in the way of a shot and fell to the ice, bleeding heavily. The puck appeared to hit him up high, and just a couple of seconds afterward, Gustav Nyquist put the Red Wings on the board with a power play goal. Strachan would return later in the period.
Momentum continued to build as the Red Wings got themselves back into the game. Drew Miller’s slapshot found its’ way by Enroth to cut the deficit in half. Just four minutes into the second period, Detroit cut the lead from three and down to one.
Midway through the second period, Tomas Tatar found a free puck right in the slot and knotted the game at three goals apiece.
With a delayed penalty, the Red Wings controlled the puck in the offensive zone, and Henrik Zetterberg jammed in a rebound to give his team 4-3 lead. Just minutes later, he tallied another one on the power play to give his team some breathing room.
Ennis snuck one past McCollum to bring the Sabres back within a goal halfway through the third period.
A few minutes later, Zetterberg beat Enroth to record his 6th career hat trick, putting the Red Wings back up by two.
The Sabres are officially on their All-Star break while other teams play up through Wednesday. Buffalo don’t play again until Tuesday, January 27th when they will be out west to begin a three game road trip in Calgary. That game will be a late start time on the East Coast, at 9 p.m.