If a backhander worked for Pavel Datsyuk
in the shootout, Jiri Hudler
felt it would work for him as well.
He was right.
Hudler's goal in the second round of the shootout closed out a come-from-behind 3-2 victory for the Detroit Red Wings in Buffalo, capping a comeback after the Sabres grabbed a quick 2-0 lead.
"I told Pavel he did a great job on the move on the first one," Hudler said after the Wings began a five-game trip with their fifth consecutive road win. "Then I took his idea. I didn't think (Miller) was going to guess we'd do the same move."
Datsyuk and Hudler both went to the right side and used backhanders to beat Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller in the shootout. Detroit backup Joey MacDonald, who stopped 30 shots, made shootout saves on Drew Stafford and Thomas Vanek.
"We had two pretty good shooters," Detroit coach Mike Babcock added. "They both made great shots."
Datsyuk and Hudler also scored in regulation, with Hudler forcing OT by scoring with 58 seconds remaining.
"We felt fortunate that we had some real good chances down the stretch," Babcock said. "I felt it was a reward for working real hard in the second and third."
Andrej Sekera and Mike Grier scored and Miller made 35 saves for the Sabres, who crept one point closer to eighth-place Carolina but left a point on the table. The Sabres, who start a seven-game road trip Tuesday in New York, trail the eighth-place Hurricanes by three points (68-65) but have two games in hand.
They closed out a disappointing six-game homestand by winning just twice.
"I think we sort of hit a wall at a certain point," said Miller, who went 2-3-1 despite a 1.83 goals against average with a .945 save percentage in the homestand. "We had our chances to win but we kept the door open. We played too much in our zone in the second and third periods."
Sekera, who sat the last three games as a healthy scratch, opened the scoring 12:55 into the game when he raced up right wing and whipped a backhander from the circle over MacDonald's left shoulder.
Grier made it 2-0 at 14:59 on a tap-in after a crisp pass by Sekera from the left corner. Grier, who also scored Friday against Ottawa, has goals in back-to-back games for the first time since October 2009.
Datsyuk got Detroit on the board at 10:43 of the second period, wristing home the rebound of a blocked shot for a power-play goal. Hudler came off the bench as the extra attacker and fired home a rebound.
"I thought as the game went on they got stronger and they took over in the game," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought we came out great, we just didn't skate as well in the third. I thought they really came hard. We didn't make enough plays."
Detroit's Mike Modano played in his first game after missing 41 games with a slashed wrist, and Valtteri Filppula returned after an eight-game absence because of a knee injury. Both were in the starting lineup for Detroit, and Modano took the game's first shot on a backhander 14 seconds in.
"(The wrist) is OK," Modano said. "(My) legs and lungs, those are going to hurt for a little while."
Detroit improved to 5-0 against the Northeast Division and got its five-game road trip off to a good start after losing twice at home this week. The Wings play four games against Pacific Division opponents next week.
"We've been good on the road and no good at home recently," Babcock said. "It's always nice to win. I don't care if it's at home or on the road. (It makes) the flight half as long."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report