The Detroit Red Wings came into Buffalo with a chance to get closer to their 23rd straight playoff appearance. The Buffalo Sabres are just trying to survive until the end of the season as 11 players were scratches heading into the game due to various injuries. This game has the making of most of the 78 other games we have seen the Sabres play this season and for the most part didn't disappoint with a 4-2 Red Wings victory.
The first period played out as methodical as a period of hockey could be. The Red Wings outshot the Sabres 12-9 in the period and both teams played a fairly dull period of hockey. That quickly changed as the second period started when Zemgus Girgensons got the Sabres on the board by hanging out in front of the net and tipping the puck past Howard on a Cody Hodgson feed. The Red Wings tied the game off a Brendan Smith goal created by a nice cross crease pass from Johan Franzen. The goal was Smith's fifth of the season.
The Red Wings just put their foot on the gas in the third period as Darren Helm scored his 12th of the season on the power play three and a half minutes into the period. David Legwand gave Detroit their first two goal lead with 4:14 left in the third period. Girgensons scored his second of the game two minutes later, but the Sabres couldn't tie the game with the extra attacker and Pavel Datsyuk scored on the empty net with a few seconds left.
Jimmy Howard had 25 saves in the victory while Matt Hackett had 33 saves in the loss. After winning in his debut, Hackett has gone 0-4-1 in the last five games and talked about his frustration after the game. "I've got to find a way to make the extra save. I think I'm pretty close,I've just got to find a way to compete harder or just bare down. It sucks losing all the time and I want to change that."
Zemgus Girgensons Impresses In Loss
While most things about the 2013-14 season are going to be easily forgotten, there are some positives to take from the season. One of them would be the play of Zemgus Girgensons. Girgensons scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season and the second one is going to be played for years to come on his highlight reel.
Sabres Special Teams Continue To Confound
The Sabres scoring this season has been well documented. The team went 0 for 3 on the power play, including a 1:52 five on three opportunity. But, in this season, the Sabres have yet to convert on five on three power play this season and that continued against Detroit. They are one of only two teams, the Dallas Stars are the second, to have that . The Sabres have had ten five on three opportunities this season, which puts them in the bottom half of the league in chances, but it still seems confounding that they haven't converted on one of their chances yet.
The Sabres will head on the road for two games before heading home for the season finale on Sunday evening.