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Abdelkader, Richards help Red Wings top Sabres

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- Brad Richards scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 5-4 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.

The Red Wings (13-8-4) have gone to overtime in the past five games and seven of eight. It was the first shootout for Detroit this season.

Justin Abdelkader had two goals, an assist and a fight for a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, and Tomas Tatar and Drew Miller scored for Detroit. Gustav Nyquist had two assists, and Petr Mrazek made 28 saves.

The Red Wings led 2-0 and 3-1 but had to tie it on a power-play goal by Abdelkader with 6:29 left in the third period and kill a Sabres power play in overtime.

"That was a wild game for sure," Abdelkader said. "I thought we dominated and had some good chances there throughout the game. Obviously we gave a little too much defensively and [made] a few mistakes, but nice to see the puck go in for us.

"I thought our penalty kill did a great job in overtime; that's huge. It's never easy to defend a 4-on-3. Then obviously Petr made three saves (in the shootout) and [Brad] got the goal. It's nice to win one in overtime; a few too many overtime games here of late but we'll take the points."

Evander Kane scored two goals, Zemgus Girgensons had a goal and an assist, and Zach Bogosian scored for Buffalo (10-12-3). Rasmus Ristolainen had three assists to match his NHL career high, and Linus Ullmark made 42 saves.

"We got down, with their first shot, and they get another on a faceoff play that caroms in off their player and over our goalie," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "When you're down 2-0, you have to go after it, and I think you saw that in how the game was played up and down the ice. We had to fight back."

Abdelkader tied the game 4-4 by skating from right to left in the right circle and shooting along the ice past Ullmark for his seventh goal.

The Sabres took a 4-3 lead with two goals in the first 3:22 of the third period.

Kane's second of the game, on the power play, tied the game 3-3 at 53 seconds. Bogosian scored his first of the season when his screened shot from the left circle found its way past Mrazek.

"We didn't start well. … We weren't ready to play but we started to battle," Ristolainen said. "We had chances to win the game in overtime. So we get a point."

The Red Wings have surrendered a third-period lead in the past five games and six of the past eight.

"We kind of gave away a couple games here in the past," Miller said. "To get that one back was big for us."

Girgenson's power-play goal with 2:51 left in the second period made it 3-2. He deflected Ristolainen's shot out of midair and past Mrazek for his second goal.

Tatar, who turned 25 Tuesday, gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead 1:34 into the first period with a backhand from the high slot on the game's first shot.

Abdelkader was credited with his first goal of the game, with 9:28 left in the first period, when defenseman Jonathan Ericsson's shot from the point hit him in the chest and bounced over Ullmark's shoulder into the net.

Kane scored with 2:30 left in the first period. He beat Mrazek with a wrist shot from the right circle on a 2-on-1.

Miller made it 3-1 4:21 into the second period. He took a pass from Abdelkader in the left circle and snapped a shot under the crossbar for his first goal of the season, first in 32 games.

"It's nice to get the first one out of the way, finally," Miller said.

Abdelkader fought with Josh Gorges late in the second period.

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