The Red Wings found themselves their first win since January in a spirited back-and-forth tilt Thursday night. It was one of those games that you got to watch Dylan Larkin and think to yourself — “this guy is the real deal” — No doubt, Dylan Larkin, along with Robby Fabbri and Jonathan Bernier, were your best players of the game. But the Sabres put up a fight, and overcame a multi-goal deficit to send the game to extra time.
It was an early penalty from Justin Abdelkader that put the Sabres on the power-play first. The Wings successfully killed it off, which brought an almost-immediate goal from Dylan Larkin. That’s his 14th goal of the year, and the Red Wings’ first goal in over 130 minutes of hockey. The Sabres answered back not long after, but Jeff Blashill called a challenge for goaltender interference, which for once, went the Wings’ way. The first period went out with a handful of penalties, one of them going to Detroit as a double-minor. In the closing seconds, the Sabres gave up a real juicy two-on-one to Robby Fabbri and Dylan Larkin. Fabbri fed Larkin, who then breezed in and pulled a backhand shelf. An extremely showing 20 minutes of hockey for both Larkin, and Fabbri.
The Red Wings got a couple of looks on the power-play in the second period. None successful, but you do have to like the movement you’re seeing from players like Taro Hirose, who has spent some time in the AHL after being sent down.
I haven’t mentioned Jonathan Bernier’s name up until now, and I think that’s a good thing?
Anyways, back to the power-play... Good movement, but I guess, maybe too much movement? Granted, the Red Wings PP did register four shots on its last chance in the second. Other things to note from the second period: Gustav Lindstrom had his name registered on the scoresheet — he got his first two NHL penalty minutes. Up until then, he hadn’t been noticeable. Please refer to my Bernier statement above.
The third period started with matching minor penalties early on, which apparently jump-started the Sabres offense. They scored two unanswered goals — one of which was from a guy that apparently used to play for the Wings?
Tyler Bertuzzi picked up a huge PP goal for the Wings, the momentum started to shift towards Detroit, but Buffalo’s Evan Rodrigues made a real nice play to tie the game. The game went onto overtime, which had chances on both sides, including Andreas Athanasiou breaking free for one, but the rookie Sabres goalie stymied him. It eventually had to be decided in a shootout. Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou both picked up tallies, while Jonathan Bernier blanked the Sabres, and that would do it. The Red Wings won a game! Not a typo.
An overall good look from the team, I think. Felt like this game had pretty much everything you wanted in terms of entertainment. It won’t be long until these two teams meet again, they’ll square off in Buffalo Tuesday. Until then, the Red Wings are moving onto Columbus Friday night. Puck drop set for 7pm.