|FULL HIGHLIGHTS | POST-GAME COMMENTS||PHOTO GALLERY|
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings scored three goals in the first period on their way to shutting down the Buffalo Sabres 5-0 at Joe Louis Arena on Monday. Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi paced the Detroit attack with three points each, and Jimmy Howard stopped all 27 Sabres shots in the blanking. The victory was a franchise-record 15th consecutive on home ice for the Wings, who haven’t lost at The Joe since November 3.
While the Red Wings have been dominant at home, the Sabres continue to search for their winning ways on the road. Buffalo has now lost a franchise-record nine straight road games in regulation, after starting the season 8-3-0. Their last road win was on December 3 in Nashville. The Sabres have lost three of their last four games, dropping to 19-21-5 on the season.
Buffalo’s mounting frustration was clearly evident in the voice of goaltender Ryan Miller following the game. Miller, who was pulled in the second period after giving up five goals on 14 Detroit shots, spoke in measured tones while fielding questions from the media.
“We made a couple of mistakes, not a lot in the first. A couple, and they capitalized. That’s what happens. That’s how things can change … Details weren’t there. That’s what Detroit is better at than us right now. We have to strive to be at that level … It’s not good hockey. It’s not good from the top down. I need to be better. I just can’t seem to find a night where I can get into a groove. I just don’t know what the hell it is.”
The Sabres are now 0-2 in the first two games of their season-high seven-game road trip that continues Wednesday in Chicago.
The Wings scored early and late to build a 3-0 first period lead. Zetterberg opened the scoring at 5:20 when he sliced through the slot and beat Ryan Miller over his left shoulder with a shot that may have deflected off Weber’s stick. Johan Franzen made it 2-0 when he took a cross ice pass from Pavel Datsyuk in full flight, cut in from the right wing and backhanded the puck over Miller's blocker at 18:11. Nicklas Lidstrom capped the scoring with 17 seconds left in the period as he jumped in front to bury the bouncing puck into the yawning cage. Shots were even at 11-11, but the Sabres only had a pair of good opportunities late in the period. Thomas Vanek nearly jammed the puck past Jimmy Howard in a goalmouth scramble, and Drew Stafford had his backhand attempt on a rolling puck hit Howard right in the mask. Lindy Ruff shuffled his lines from today’s morning skate, moving Jochen Hecht in between Stafford and Ville Leino, and Derek Roy to the top line with Vanek and Jason Pominville.
Detroit’s late goal in the first seemed to deflate the Sabres attack, and it showed early in the second as the Wings upped their lead to 5-0 when they scored twice in a 13-second span. Datsyuk forced a Mike Weber turnover behind the Buffalo net, and then fed Bertuzzi who made no mistake with the deke in front at 4:19. Off the ensuing faceoff, Drew Miller took the puck down the right wing and sent a pass across the slot to Darren Helm who one-timed a shot past Miller. That goal would bring an end to Miller’s net, allowing five goals on 14 shots. Jhonas Enroth finished the period and stopped all five shots he faced. Detroit also outshot Buffalo 8-7 in the second, with the Sabres able to generate very little offense against Howard.
Neither team was able to find the scoreboard in a somewhat testy third period that included roughing minors to Paul Gaustad and Danny Cleary. The Sabres outshot the Wings 9-7 in the third (27-26 on the night), but Howard was up to the challenge in front of his home crowd. The shutout was Howard’s fifth of the season and 10th of his career, and he improved his season record to a league-best 27-10-1. Enroth played 35:28 for Buffalo after relieving Miller, and was perfect on all 12 shots that were sent his way.
SABRES NOTES: Tyler Myers led both teams with 24:55 of ice time … Robyn Regehr (upper body), Brayden McNabb (upper body), Cody McCormick (healthy) and Joe Finley (healthy) were Buffalo’s scratches … Christian Ehrhoff, who missed his seventh game with an upper body injury, was placed on Injured Reserve … TJ Brennan skated 11:39 TOI in his first game since being recalled from Rochester.
|TONIGHT'S LINES FOR THE SABRES & RED WINGS