Thomas Vanek has still got it.
The former Sabre scored the winning shootout goal and an assist on Detroit’s only tally in regulation in the Red Wings’ 2-1 victory against the Sabres.
Vanek got the best of the Sabres on the Red Wings goal, leading the charge on a 2-on-1 with Gustav Nyquist. Josh Gorges was hung out to dry once Taylor Fedun went off for a line change. Gorges stuck with Vanek, who executed a stellar spin move to set up Nyquist perfectly.
After numerous scoring opportunities throughout the game, it was a garbage goal that finally got the Sabres on the board. Evander Kane fired a shot at the top of the crease, and it went off Brian Gionta’s leg and into the net.
The Sabres appeared to score early in the game, as Johan Larsson clawed the puck from under Howard’s pads and fired it home. However, the ref blew the whistle very quickly, ending play with the puck still under the Detroit netminder’s pad.
Detroit had one of the sloppier outings a Sabres opponent has had this season, making this loss a tough one to swallow. The Sabres’ two-game win streak is over.
1. How will Ryan O’Reilly look in his return from injury?
O’Reilly was his typical self, carrying the minutes load on 5-on-5, power plays and penalty kills.
He dominated overtime, starting with a shift that lasted nearly two minutes. Later in the extra frame he nearly scored on the backhand after forcing his way to the net and continued a long offensive possession with a great forecheck.
2. Speaking of offense, can the Sabres make it two games in a row with more than one goal?
Nope, it was a pretty typical Sabres game. The Sabres had plenty of chances, but missed every good shot they had. Sam Reinhart had the best opportunity, but his shot on an open net hit the post.
3. Can the Sabres control their old friend, Thomas Vanek?