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Gustav Nyquist lifts Red Wings past Sabres

Scores in second period, shootout to help Detroit end four-game losing streak

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Gustav Nyquist and Thomas Vanek scored in the shootout, and Jimmy Howard made 32 saves to help the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Wednesday.

Vanek, who played for Buffalo from 2005-13, scored the deciding goal with a wrist shot over goalie Robin Lehner's glove before Howard made a save on Cal O'Reilly to win the game.

"Once [the fans] booed me, I figured I had to show them the move they've seen before," Vanek said. "Yeah, obviously, I wanted to score for our team, but once that happened, I wanted to score even more."

 

WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Sabres highlights

 

The Red Wings (9-10-1) ended a four-game losing streak.

"It's a big deal to get two points," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "When you haven't had enough points, you've got to find a way to win, and sometimes it's not as pretty as you want it to be and there are moments where it wasn't pretty, but we found a way to two points, and that's a good thing for us. We've got to build on it and get better."

It was the first loss for the Sabres (7-8-5) in three games.

Howard made 11 saves in the third period, and then had three in overtime, two against Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and one against Ryan O'Reilly, who returned to the lineup after missing five games with an oblique injury.

"It feels good; just feels good coming into the room after that," Howard said. "[It's] feeling like a lot of weight lifting off our shoulders. It feels good going into Thanksgiving."

Nyquist gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 16:00 of the second period, beating Lehner (23 saves) with a one-timer on a 2-on-1 with Vanek for his fourth goal of the season, first in 14 games.

"Vanek and Nyquist think the game offensively at a real high level, and I think [Vanek] as the game went along got better and better," Blashill said. "To me, the second and third period looked like the way he played the beginning of the season and when he does that he's an excellent hockey player. He's got a lot of ability. He was the fifth overall pick for a reason and I think that line can be a real good offensive line for us."

Brian Gionta tied it 1-1 1:42 into the third period when he drove the net after a shot by Evander Kane. The puck bounced off Howard before going off Gionta's foot and into the net.

Blashill challenged the goal, claiming goaltender interference, but it was determined by video review that Howard was not interfered with before the puck crossed the line.

Video: DET@BUF: Gionta ties the game with rebound goal

 

Goal of the game

Nyquist opened the scoring after great passes from rookie defenseman Ryan Sproul and Vanek. Sproul passed through the neutral zone to Vanek, who entered the Sabres zone with Nyquist on a 2-on-1 against defenseman Josh Gorges. Vanek spun around at the bottom of the left faceoff circle to find Nyquist at the right hash marks.

Video: DET@BUF: Nyquist caps great passing with slick goal

 

Save of the game

Lehner made a game-saving stop against Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha 14 seconds into overtime. Mantha carried the puck from the Detroit end with speed, getting behind the Buffalo defense on the right side, but Lehner extended his left leg to make the save when Mantha tried to stuff it in on the short-side post.

Video: DET@BUF: Lehner stretches for big pad stop in OT

 

Highlight of the game

Vanek's deciding goal in the shootout wasn't good just because of the shot past Lehner's glove, but also the move he made, circling his stick around the puck while he approached the net.

Video: DET@BUF: Vanek buries shootout winner with great move

 

Unsung moment of the game

With the Sabres swarming the Red Wings net, Matt Moulson's shot went off the post at 17:07 and the puck trickled toward the goal line, but Detroit forward Riley Sheahan dived onto the ice to swat it away with his stick.

Video: DET@BUF: Sheahan swats puck away on goal line

 

They said it

"It's frustrating being that close [to .500]. … The issue is scoring goals. I thought throughout the lineup guys were playing very well tonight. It's up top, it's myself. … I got to find a way to do something, to put one away." -- Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly

 

"You can call it whatever you want, it's a move I've done. I think I was 13, 14, was the first time I came up with it. It's one of my favorite ones, and I'm trying to do it for the goalie to drop his glove and in that instant get it over, and it worked out tonight." -- Red Wings forward Thomas Vanek

 

Need to know

Lehner is 0-2 and has allowed four goals in four attempts in shootouts this season. … The Sabres have played in eight 2-1 games and are 3-2-3 in those games. … Vanek has nine points (four goals, five assists) in nine games this season. … O'Reilly led Buffalo forwards with 22:48 of ice time in his return from injury.

 

What's next

Red Wings: At the New Jersey Devils on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-D+, NHL.TV)

Sabres: At the Washington Capitals on Friday (5 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Red Wings snap losing streak with shootout win

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