After a very disappointing loss to Tampa on Monday, the Sabres bounced back tonight with an entertaining sweat of a 5-4 shootout win in Detroit.
The Red Wings opened the scoring just 1:20 into the game on a simple wrist shot from rookie Jonatan Berggren that Anderson never saw as he was completely screened. The Sabres answered back though pretty quickly. 4:53 into the period, they tied it up shorthanded as Dylan Cozens got past two Red Wings defenseman to score and make it 1-1 on the night. We took the lead a few minutes later as Mattias Samuelsson scored the first goal of his career on a shot that Alex Nedeljkovic would love to have back 8:25 into the first. Going into the first intermission, the Sabres held onto the 2-1 lead. We got outshot 11-16 but we killed off both penalties which was good to see and you can’t complain about a lead.
In the second period, Cozens had a fanatic shot for his second of the game with 11:48 left in the period to make it 3-1 Sabres. After Mo Seider went down on the ice after blocking a 97 mph shot from Tage Thompson, Jeff Skinner scored pretty much at the exact same time that the whistle blew. After review, the goal counted determining it to be in the net before the whistle and counted for a 4-1 Sabres lead. I get why the Red Wings were pissed it counted. But it’s a goal. Much better period for the Sabres, outshooting Detroit 13-11 and putting two more in the back of the net for a few insurance goals.
6:51 into the third period, the Red Wings got back within two on a David Perron goal in front of the net. With 9:19 left in regulation, Detroit made it a 4-3 win, hitting the over early and making Sabres fans sweat this out just as we did on Monday. Less than 2 minutes later, with 7:29 left in the game, the Red Wings tied it up on a goal from Oskar Sundqvist. And just like that a three goal lead in the third period evaporates for the Sabres. The Sabres took two stupid penalties in a row late in the period and did a great job of killing off over a minute and a half of a 5 on 3, sending the game to overtime tied up at 4-4. We got lucky a lot during that period with how sloppy the Sabres played in the third but that penalty kill was so huge to keep the game tied and take us to overtime for the second night in a row.
After a scoreless overtime period, we headed to the first shooting of the season for the Sabres. Lucas Raymond went first and Craig Anderson stuck with it and denied him. The first shooter for the Sabres was Tage Thompson but Nedeljkovic read it nicely and grabbed it with the glove. David Perron came flying in on Anderson, went forehand/backhand and beat Anderson but it went off the left post and out. JJ Peterka got denied for the Sabres. Dylan Larkin cranked one off the same post that Perron did to keep it scoreless and give Jack Quinn a chance to win the game. He made a fantastic move with great patience with the puck after selling out Nedeljkovic and got the Sabres the win on a BEAUTY of a goal.
FINAL: Sabres 5, Red Wings 4
It got sloppy but good win for the Sabres. We didn’t play great defensively and should not have blown that three goal lead in the third period. We got outshot 45-34 but there were good things that came out of this game, especially the win. The Sabres killed seven penalties tonight, the best performance of the season from our penalty kill which has struggled immensely. That was great to see, especially after we got killed with Tampa getting three power play goals against us on Monday. Craig Anderson, despite giving up four goals played pretty well tonight on the 20th anniversary of his first NHL start (hard to believe) making some huge, key saves at big moments of the game.
The Sabres are right back in action tomorrow night as they face off against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Avalanche at home in a game that I will be in attendance for, so hopefully the Sabres keep it rolling.
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