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Early Mishaps Cost Sabres in 3-1 Loss to Red Wings



Detroit Red Wings Buffalo Sabres game recap

The Buffalo Sabres poured on 38 shots but came up short against the Detroit Red Wings in a dagger to their last playoff hopes. The four-point swing puts the Sabres now five points back of the Red Wings and the final wild card position with four games remaining. This comes two days after making the playoff chatter interesting again by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers.

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The opening eight minutes were a disaster for Buffalo, as costly mistakes conceded goals to Lucas Raymond, Patrick Kane, and Dylan Larkin. The 3-0 deficit put the Sabres in scramble mode the rest of the game, and only a Tage Thompson powerplay tally got past Red Wings goaltender Alex Lyon.

Impact Players

Raymond was a difference-maker early on for the Red Wings, notching the first goal and an assist on Larkin’s powerplay marker. From that point forward, Lyon was Detroit’s best player, stopping 37 of the 38 shots he faced in the game. According to Evolving-Hockey, he saved 1.88 goals above expected.

The Sabres took over in the second and third periods, led by Thompson, JJ Peterka, and Alex Tuch. The line constantly pushed play into the offensive zone, maintained possession, and created dangerous chances. The only thing they didn’t do was score at even-strength.

The Difference

Eight minutes were the difference in the game. Like many times this season, the Sabres found themselves in a rut early. Like many times, they battled back and dominated the later part of the game. Unfortunately, their effort was thwarted by many blocked shots and Lyon holding strong.

What’s Next

The Sabres will head to Dallas to face one of the league’s best teams on Tuesday. The Stars sit atop the Western Conference with 105 points. Buffalo is still mathematically alive in the playoff hunt. They’ll have to win out and hope for a lot of help.