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Sabres Explode for Seven in Victory Over Red Wings



Detroit Red Wings Buffalo Sabres game recap

With a 7-3 win at home over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, the Buffalo Sabres now sit five points out of a playoff spot. Yes, we’re talking about the NHL playoffs. The Sabres deflated the Red Wings right from the hop, throwing 68 shot attempts in Detroit’s direction.

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Alex Tuch opened the scoring 1:07 into the game by cruising past the Red Wings’ defenseman to retrieve the loose puck. He slid his shot under Detroit netminder Alex Lyon and into the net. Bowen Byram continued to produce as his shot deflected in to make it 2-0 Buffalo.

Ben Chiarot was able to cut the lead in half for Detroit, but Zach Benson answered 23 seconds later to restore the insurance. Benson then found an open Jeff Skinner coming off the bench, making it a three-goal lead at the end of one.

Connor Clifton and Byram scored in the first half of the second period to blow the doors open on the game. Lucas Raymond’s powerplay tally for the Red Wings seemed to be a blip in the radar, as the Sabres answered again with JJ Peterka cashing in for the team’s seventh goal.

Jake Walman added a goal late in the third period, but the Sabres were already well on their way to victory.

Impact Players

Bowen Byram continues to produce. With two goals on Tuesday, Byram is now up to four points in three games since coming over from Colorado. The Sabres had over 71% of the shot attempts when he was on the ice, which indicates that he is driving play into the offensive zone.

What’s most impressive is that he’s doing this against tough matchups in over 24 minutes of ice time per game. He has been an instant fit with Rasmus Dahlin in the Sabres’ system.

Tage Thompson’s line also dominated the shot attempts and shot quality versus the Red Wings. He, Tuch, and Zemgus Girgensons averaged over 85% of the expected goals when on the ice, per Evolving-Hockey. This time, those expected goals produced three actual goals – one by Tuch, one from Clifton, and Byram’s second of the night.

The Difference

Detroit has yet to win in the month of March, and it showed. The Sabres had the clear jump on the Red Wings all night, beating them to loose pucks and driving them crazy on the forecheck.

The best defensive players for the Red Wings were caved in, especially J.T. Compher and Moritz Seider. Even Alex Lyon, who had a .908 save percentage and 2.93 goals-against average heading into the game, was chased from the net.

James Reimer didn’t fare much better in his relief, surrendering three goals on 26 shots faced.

What’s Next

The Sabres have another key matchup at home on Thursday, as the New York Islanders are in town. The Islanders have now leapfrogged the Red Wings for the final Wild Card spot. Their loss on Monday ended a six-game winning streak, as they’ve found new life under new head coach Patrick Roy.

A win would put the Sabres within three points of the Islanders, although New York has a game in hand.