Tyler Bertuzzi potted two goals, including the overtime winner, while Jimmy Howard made 35 saves, as the Detroit Red Wings handed the Buffalo Sabres their fifth straight loss, by a score of 5-4.
Detroit was aided by two goals by center Dylan Larkin, his 29th and 30th tallies of the season. The second goal seemed like it was going to be the back-breaker of the game. On a scrambling play, Filip Hronek was able to corral a loose puck on the left side of the zone and feed a pass to an open Larkin who one-timed the pass past a fallen Linus Ullmark to give Detroit a two-goal lead with only seven minutes to play in the third period.
Give the Sabres credit though, as they stormed back with two goals of their own, only 41 seconds apart to tie the game at 4, with markers by Casey Mittelstadt, (his 12th) and Jack Eichel. (His 27th)
Eichel’s goal, his 100th of his young NHL career was a particularly pretty one, as Sam Reinhart got the puck up to Victor Olofsson, playing in his first career NHL game, who beautifully fed the streaking Eichel in the high slot, who was able to snap a shot past Jimmy Howard. The assist was the first point in Olofsson’s NHL career, on a night when he looked dangerous all game long.
The comeback bid fell short though, when in overtime, Rasmus Dahlin attempted to spin a pass into the neutral zone, and it was picked off by the Wings, and Danny DeKeyser found an open Tyler Bertuzzi, who one-timed the pass into the back of the net, to give the Red Wings the road victory.
Linus Ullmark made 29 saves on 34 shots and looked fairly shaky all evening long. Dylan Larkin’s first goal was a particular goal that Ullmark would like back. Larkin was able to skate wide around half of the offensive zone. Once he got to the face-off dot to Ullmark’s right, he took a wrist shot, that was headed for the net minder’s glove. Ullmark got a piece, but not enough, and it trickled in the net.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Howard was forced to make 35 saves on 39 shots, and many of them, specifically in the first 10 minutes of the 1st period, and long stretches of the 2nd and 3rd period, were of high-quality. He also got a little help from his friends the posts as well. The aforementioned Olofsson had a glorious chance to beat Howard in the 3rd when he accepted a Jack Eichel pass on a 3-on-1, and had the whole net, and rang it off the pipe. Full marks to Howard though on a gritty win, where he was mostly solid and calm in the net.
Up next for the Sabres, they’ll take on the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7 P.M.