Wed, 25 May 2022

Red Wings try to complete 4-game series sweep of Sabres

Field Level Media
17 Jan 2022, 03:55 GMT+10

The Buffalo Sabres were disappointed in themselves after the way they were blanked in Detroit on Saturday.

They'll get a chance to redeem themselves Monday afternoon in a rematch against the Red Wings in Buffalo, N.Y.

The Sabres gave up two first-period goals and never mustered a rally in the4-0 shutout.

"They scored two on the power play in the first period and they got some momentum from that, but we need to clean that up," defenseman Robert Hagg said. "We need to be better on the kill and help our goalies out there."

Sabres goalie Aaron Dell made 35 saves, but the team was outshot 39-22 with the four Detroit goals coming from close range.

"He (Dell) is probably the only guy who can feel good about himself after this game," Hagg said. "The rest of us need to look ourselves in the mirror. We play again in 48 hours and we better be ready."

Buffalo had been feeling pretty good two nights earlier when the Sabres snapped a six-game winless streak (0-4-2) with a 4-1 road victory over Nashville. The early penalties on Saturday set the tone, as Detroit's Tyler Bertuzzi and Robby Fabbri converted on the power play to put the Sabres in an early hole.

"It was close to the opposite of what we saw in Nashville," coach Don Granato said. "There's no way to sugarcoat that. It just wasn't good enough from start to finish."

The Sabres had a chance to get back into the game in the second period when they had three power plays in the first 12 minutes but came up empty.

"We did nothing on the power play," Granato said. "The power plays just exemplified the rest of the game."

It was still just 2-0 entering the third but rookie Lucas Raymond scored 13 seconds into the period, which Granato admitted was a "backbreaker."

"You play the way we did through two periods and you actually have a chance in the third," he said. "You know that going into the third that it's only a 2-0 game and you give up one 10-15 seconds in when you should be trying to push and that's disappointing."

The Red Wings, who won the first two meetings in overtime, can complete the four-game season series with four victories on Monday.

Detroit's two dynamic rookies played major roles in those wins. Defenseman Moritz Seider scored the game-winner for his first NHL goal on Nov. 6. Three weeks later, Raymond notched the first overtime game-winner of his career.

Raymond had gone 14 games without entering Saturday's game, but he jammed a pass from captain Dylan Larkin past Dell for the 3-0 advantage. Michael Rasmussen added a goal midway through the third period.

"I think the most important thing is he doesn't have to answer all your questions about it," coach Jeff Blashill said. "That's one thing about this league -- you are always reminded about things like that, even when you shouldn't be worried about it. He's been playing good hockey and he's been helping us win games, but it certainly feels better to score."

Blashill said he was encouraged by the success of his special teams units. The Wings have scored on the power play in three of the past four games.

"Hopefully that just continues to build confidence," he said. "Confidence matters, and special teams was a huge factor."

Still, Detroit had lost four in a row (0-2-2) after being shut out by Winnipeg in its previous outing.

"This was a big win, especially after getting shut out at home last time," Bertuzzi said. "We needed to stop the losing streak, but now we've got to come out in the next game and back this up."

--Field Level Media

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