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game recap

Sabres use quick start to top Red Wings

Rodrigues scores twice early in first period; Eichel extends point streak to seven

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Rodrigues' second goal of game

BUF@DET: Rodrigues jams home PPG for second goal

Evan Rodrigues jams the puck into the net on the power play, doubling the Sabres' lead with his second goal of the 1st period

  • 00:44 •

DETROIT -- Evan Rodrigues scored his first two goals of the season for the Buffalo Sabres in a 5-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday.

"I knew something was going to go in eventually," said Rodriguez, who had gone 33 games without a goal dating to last season. "You just keep reminding yourself and keep believing you can do it.

"Obviously, it was nice to get a couple to go in and hopefully it continues."

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Red Wings highlights]

 

Rodrigues had a chance to finish off his first career hat trick with 5:12 remaining in regulation, but Jimmy Howard made the save.

"I knew I had space, so I tried to turn and it get it on net quickly enough to fool him," Rodrigues said. "I was going for it, but it wasn't meant to be."

Curtis Lazar had two assists, and Linus Ullmark made 21 saves for the Sabres (20-19-7), who had lost two straight and six of their previous eight.

"The way we played last night got us going," said Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger, whose team allowed four third-period goals in a 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. "It was very disappointing and we had a pretty serious morning. 

"I think everyone understood the messages going around."

Howard made 22 saves for the Red Wings (12-31-3), who had won three in a row at home.

Howard, who is 0-10-1 with a 4.79 goals-against average and .856 save percentage in his past 11 games, was a late starter after Jonathan Bernier aggravated a lower-body injury sustained in a 3-2 shootout win against the Ottawa Senators on Friday.

"[Bernier] seemed OK yesterday but woke up and it was much worse, so Jimmy was thrust into action," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "He's been working hard in practice, but it is tough when you aren't expecting to play."

Rodrigues gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 2:39 of the first with a one-timer off a pass from Lazar, who collected the loose puck after knocking over Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek.

Video: BUF@DET: Rodrigues hammers Lazar's dish by Howard

Rodrigues scored his second at 5:00, getting the rebound of his own shot at the left post on the power play before Zemgus Girgensons extended the lead to 3-0 on a shorthanded breakaway at 12:43.

"I've got a couple breakaway moves in my skills, so I just picked one and went with it," Girgensons said. "I peeked back to see how much time I had and that's when I decided to deke instead of shooting."

Madison Bowey cut it to 3-1 at 11:56 of the second period on a shot from the top of the right circle through a screen.

Detroit outshot Buffalo 11-3 in the period but had two shots hit their own players in front of the net, and Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian was called for delay of game at 14:05 when he cleared the puck off the goal line with his glove.

"We played really, really well in the second period, it was certainly the best second period we've played all season," Blashill said. "We created chances and we scored one and could have easily had at least one more."

Bogosian scored his first of the season to make it 4-1 at 2:35 of the third period, skating down the right wall and cutting to the low slot before beating Howard with a backhand.

Video: BUF@DET: Bogosian backhands puck home to pad lead

"I wanted to get the puck into the middle because [Rodrigues] was at the net front and taking away [Howard's] eyes," Bogosian said. "He did a good job and I got a spot to hit."

Rasmus Ristolainen pushed the lead to 5-1 at 3:40 with a rebound in front on the power play. Jack Eichel had the primary assist on the play to extend his point streak to seven games (three goals, five assists).

 

They said it

"Going into the third period, we knew we just had to get back to what we were doing in the first period. We came in and played simple hockey. We put pucks deep and played fast and physical. That was the difference. We got off track in the second, but we did a good job of regrouping." -- Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons on bouncing back from a 6-3 loss to Vancouver on Saturday

"We spotted them two early goals and were down 3-0 at the end of the first period, then we gave up two at the start of the third period. That's the game, the start of the first and the start of the third." -- Red Wings center Dylan Larkin

 

Need to know

Rodrigues' other two-goal game came on Dec. 10, 2017, against the St. Louis Blues. … Michael Frolik had an assist on Bogosian's goal. It was his first point in three games since being acquired by the Sabres in a trade with the Calgary Flames on Jan. 2. … Larkin had an assist to extend his point streak to six games (two goals, four assists).

 

What's next

Sabres: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Red Wings: At the New York Islanders on Tuesday (Nassau Coliseum; 7 p.m. ET; MSG+ 2, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Video: Rodrigues scores twice, Sabres down Red Wings

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