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Recap: Sabres win their ninth straight and sit atop the NHL

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Sabres win their ninth straight in a shootout and sit alone atop the NHL standings

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres were going for their ninth straight win and the opportunity to sit atop the NHL standings tonight against the Red Wings.

It was a fast paced first period in Detroit. Both teams had their opportunities on the rush throughout the opening 20 minutes.

The Sabres got on the board first with Jeff Skinner scoring his 18th goal of the season on the power play. He was around the net again to bang home a Jack Eichel rebound to give the Sabres the lead.

The Red Wings showed their speed on numerous occasions throughout the period. They were able to capitalize on a few Sabres turnovers to create some odd man rushes, but Linus Ullmark was up to the task early.

After the first the Sabres held a 1-0 lead, as well as a 17-13 advantage in shots.

In the middle frame, the Red Wings carried more of the play. The Sabres had their opportunities, but most of the play was in the Sabres end.

Early in the period the Wings knotted things up on a shot from the wall by Dylan Larkin. Certainly a goal Ullmark would want back.

The pace was good through 40 minutes for two clubs playing in their second game of back to backs and third in four nights.

In the third, the Sabres carried the play a little more in the first half of the period. After the Red Wings received a power play, Thomas Vanek picked up a slashing penalty to negate it. The Sabres were left with about a 30 second carry over with the man advantage and Tage Thompson delivered.

The big forward unloaded an absolute rocket from the face off dot and by Howard to make it 2-1.

Buffalo looked to be on their way to their ninth straight win, but the Red Wings go even with six minutes remaining. Anthony Mantha tapped rebound off the post into an open to tie it at two.

Nobody was able to score in the final few minutes of regulation and we headed to overtime.

Early in the extra session the Sabres picked up a power play after Dylan Larkin grabbed Jack Eichel on rush down the wing. The Sabres were unable to capitalize and Ullmark made a few nice saves when the man advantage expired to get the game to a shootout.

We had to go seven rounds, but eventually Sam Reinhart scored the game winner with a beautiful back hand move to give the Sabres their ninth straight win. They’ll go for 10 on Tuesday at home against the San Jose Sharks.

Shootout:

1. Nielsen - stopped | Eichel - stopped

2. Vanek - stopped | Pominville - stopped

3. Nyquist - stopped | Mittelstadt - stopped

4. Larkin - stopped | Sheary - stopped

5. Anthanasiou - goal | Thompson - goal

6. Abdelkader - stopped | Skinner - stopped

7. Rasmussen - stopped | Reinhart - goal

Final: Sabres 3 | Red Wings 2 (SO)

Shots on Goal: Sabres 35 | Red Wings 37

Sabres Goals: Skinner (18) (PPG) and Thompson (3) (PPG)

Red Wings Goals: Larkin (9) and Mantha (7)

Three Stars of the Game

1. Linus Ullmark (35 saves on 37 shots)

2. Tage Thompson (1 G)

3. Jimmy Howard (33 saves on 35 shots)