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Wings cut down by Sabres 3-2.

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Mantha’s return sparked...Helm to score two goals! Wings lead in shots but not on the scoreboard.

Detroit Red Wings v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

MANTHA IS BACK!!!

First Period

I was typing “Helm is working really hard and it’s only been 30 seconds” when HE SCORED. HELM MAKES IT 1-0! Mantha already making lives better by his very existence.

Well, it was nice while it lasted. Two minutes in and Sabres tie it 1-1. Our 43 scored, and then the wrong 43 scored.

Both teams playing more mites on ice scramble style than NHL the first few minutes. Would be neat to start connecting passes, but the Sabres are passing even worse. They are so intimidated by The Big Frenchman™.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one recently, Wings have a Too Much Man penalty yet again. Penalty kill goes to work just over 6 minutes in. Penalty killed with Bernier needing to make 5 saves.

Lindstrom is doing such a great job, I hope this take ages well through the rest of the recap.

WE HAVE A TRAPEZOID PENALTY! Not on Bernier, he would never, Hutton has broken the sacred law and one of his teammates will be sacrificed to the penalty box. For two minutes. Wings to the powerplay with under 7 minutes to go. It’s so nice to see Mantha on the powerplay even when his big blast from the dot didn’t go in.

MAN DOWN. IT’S PERLINI. It was not friendly fire, in fact it was unfriendly fire in the shape of a skate coming up while he was falling down. Piet Van Zant accompanies Perlini off the ice with a towel held to his face.

That takes us to the end of the period. Score tied at 1-1 and shots 12-10 Wings.

Second Period

Perlini update: He’s getting stitched up but sounds like he will be ok.

Sheary gets in all alone but Bernier stops him. However, galactic treasure WES McCAULEY SAYS PENALTY SHOT. Hronek gave a chop on the hands, can’t really argue it, although we’ve seen plenty against us that didn’t end in penalty shots the past few years. SHEARY MISSED THE NET.

Skinner gets nudged into Bernier and Eighth Wonder of the World Wes McCauley kills the play before any fights can bubble up.

HELM AGAIN. It’s 2-1 Wings! And again Mantha remembers because Mantha was there.

Halfway through and a great chance for the AA crew but just could not get through Hutton. Wings are starting to click more now, even Filppula took a shot. Why? Because Filppula was on the ice with Mantha. ManthaMania is running wild through the whole team.

7 minutes go to and Wings lead in shots 17-10 and goals 2-1.

Don’t get too excited.

The Wings remember it’s the second period and they are the Red Wings. Buffalo’s Johansson scores with 5 to go. Tie game 2-2.

AND THEN.

Wings penalty kill time. But wait, Dahlin high sticks Filppula and Most Radiant King Wes McCauley catches him in the act. We’ll be 4v4 for a minute and then Wings powerplay for a minute. Buffalo gets a two on one shorthanded break but Bernier is having none of it.

Period ends 2-2.

Third Period

Uh oh. Puck is in the net behind Bernier and Blash is taking a look but doesn’t challenge, the right decision. Eichel kind of kicks the puck but Bernier makes the save but Reinhart follows up and does get the puck without a clear case for goaltender interference. Could have let Eichel’s shot in because that would have been called back for the kick. 3-2 Sabres after one minute.

In good news, Wings are keeping pace in the shots department with both teams tied at 22. But a lot can happen in 15 minutes.

Halfway through the period and Ristolinen heads to the box for sports crimes against Helm. Red Wings go on a powerplay. It was not very effective.

Great work by Bernier leading to Mantha having a chance the other way but can’t break free enough to get the shot away.

Aaaaaaaand Wings are back on the penalty kill as a scrum breaks out. Hronek is sent to the timeout terrarium. Three minutes to go.

Larkin breaks in on goal shorthanded but nope, Hutton makes the save.

2 minutes to go.

LGD breaks in on goal shorthanded but nope, Hutton makes the save.

Biega blast explodes the goal stick right out of Hutton’s hand to the back boards. Wings can’t take advantage.

Penalty over. 1 minute to go.

30 seconds to go and Bernier heads to the bench.

15 seconds.

Wings lose 3-2. Shots 29-25 in favor of the Wings. So, at least there’s that. A moral victory.