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game recap

Sabres ride special teams past Red Wings

Score two power-play goals, go 4-for-4 on penalty kill

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Robin Lehner made 34 saves, 18 in the third period, and Jack Eichel and Matt Moulson each scored a power-play goal to help the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Monday.

The Sabres (30-31-12) went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill in their second consecutive win.

"The guys were great in front of me all night. I think I only faced two or three tough shots on their four power plays," Lehner said. "Even when they had all those shots in the third period, they weren't getting great chances and everything was cleared out in front of me."

 

WATCH: All Sabres vs. Red Wings highlights

 

Tomas Tatar scored for the Red Wings (28-32-11), who had won their two previous games.

"The game was special teams tonight, obviously," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "They had two power-play goals, and we didn't get any in four chances. That is the difference in a lot of games in this league."

It was the final game at Joe Louis Arena for the Sabres. The Red Wings will play at Little Caesars Arena beginning next season.

"I had a moment by myself this morning where I just took in the sights and all the memories," said Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma, who coached the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 victory in Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final in Detroit. "I'll have a souvenir in my pocket when I walk out of here tonight."

Video: BUF@DET: Moulson backhands Ennis' dish for PPG

The Sabres took a 1-0 lead when Eichel scored at 10:59 of the first period, 29 seconds after he drew a hooking penalty on Red Wings defenseman Mike Green.

Eichel took a pass from Ryan O'Reilly at the top of the right circle and beat goalie Petr Mrazek with a wrist shot for his 21st goal.

"I didn't see it," Mrazek said. "There was a guy in front of me and I tried to look on the blocker side, and he had a quick release."

Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen got his NHL-leading 24th power-play assist on the goal.

Moulson made it 2-0 when he scored with a backhand off a Tyler Ennis pass for Buffalo's second power-play goal at 8:59 of the second period, 17 seconds after Tatar was called for tripping O'Reilly.

Eleven of Moulson's 14 goals have come on the power play.

"We know that our power play has been carrying us all year, and we work hard at it," he said. "Tyler and I practice that play all the time, and when he glanced over, I knew what he was thinking."

Video: BUF@DET: Lehner stops Larkin through heavy traffic

Tatar pulled Detroit within 2-1 at 12:53 of the second, tapping in Green's pass for his third goal in two games.

Buffalo defenseman Brady Austin, playing his first NHL game, took a penalty with 6:35 to play in the third, but the Sabres limited the Red Wings to two low-percentage shots.

Mrazek made 28 saves.

 

Goal of the game

The Sabres made four passes in six seconds on their first power play, with O'Reilly making the last one to a wide-open Eichel at the top of the right circle for a one-timer that went through a Sam Reinhart screen and over Mrazek's shoulder.

Video: BUF@DET: Eichel tallies PPG with wicked one-timer

 

Save of the game

Austin found himself in space with an open lane to the net for his first NHL shot, but Mrazek kicked the puck away with his left skate at 10:26 of the first period.

Video: BUF@DET: Mrazek turns away Austin with kick save

 

Highlight of the game

With Green's reputation as a scorer, Lehner couldn't leave the post to cut down his passing angle to Tatar, who scored his fourth goal in three games. "He throws a lot of pucks at the net from bad angles, so I couldn't give him a gap. That gave him enough room to slide the pass to Tatar," Lehner said.

Video: BUF@DET: Tatar taps in Green's cross-crease dish

 

Unsung performance of the game

Moments after his first-period goal, Eichel raced back to disrupt Henrik Zetterberg's pass to Gustav Nyquist on a 2-on-1 break. "I don't think my defense is nearly as bad as people think, and it is a part of my game that I'm really working to improve," Eichel said.

 

They said it

"I've never even tried a shot in this league before, but I thought it was open. I just didn't get enough wood on it." -- Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner on his failed attempt to score into an empty net

 

"We had a lot of chances on the power play, but we couldn't put the puck in the net. Give their goalie some of the credit for that." -- Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar

 

Need to know

Eichel is the first Sabres player with at least 50 points in his first two NHL seasons since Christian Ruuttu in 1986-87 and 1987-88. … Zetterberg assisted on Tatar's goal and has 29 points (six goals, 23 assists) in his past 24 games.

 

What's next

Sabres: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, ROOT, NHL.TV)

Red Wings: At the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SNE, RDS, FS-D, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Eichel, Lehner lead Sabres past Wings, 2-1

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