KeyBank Center was buzzing tonight for the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings matchup with the debut of Casey Mittlestadt.
The Sabres got off to a good start to keep the fans buzzing. Jack Eichel. Three minutes into the game Eichel blew past the Red Wings defense and beat Jimmy Howard far side.
Ryan O’Reilly increased the lead to 2-0. He found a rebound in front and put it under the bar with the man advantage.
Just 30 seconds later the Red Wings slowed down the momentum being built up by the Sabres. A turnover resulted in Dylan Larkin beating Robin Lehner high blocker side.
Scott Wilson and Johan Larsson each had the opportunity for a shorthanded breakaway in the period, but were unable to get it past Howard.
In the second period Darren Helm got his chance at a shorthanded breakaway. Unlike the Sabres he didn’t miss his chance. Helm put a move on the Sabres goaltender to score and tie it up at two.
Near the end of the period after a faceoff violation by Mittelstadt. Detroit took the lead on rebound goal from their leading goal scorer Anthony Mantha.
The Sabres held a 24-20 lead in shots after 40 minutes, but trailed 3-2.
Chad Johnson stepped in for Lehner to start the third period as he went out with an injury. That didn’t stop the Red Wings from increasing the lead.
Andreas Athanasiou finished off a really nice passing play to make 4-2 just under two minutes into the final period.
The Sabres got some life when Evan Rodrigues wristed a shot by Howard to make it 4-3. Mittelstadt picked up an assist on the play for his first NHL point.
Detroit put the game away later in the period as Danny DeKeyser snuck in from the point to make it 5-3. Then an awful attempt at pulling the goalie resulted in Andrei Svechnikov’s older brother Evgeny really ending any comeback hopes to make it 6-3.
Final: Red Wings 6, Sabres 3
Shots on Goal: Red Wings 32 | Sabres 32
Sabres Goal Scorers: Eichel (25), O’Reilly (21) and Rodrigues (7)
Red Wings Goal Scorers: Larkin (6), Helm (11), Mantha (24), DeKeyser (6), Athanasiou (15) and Svechnikov (2)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Dylan Larkin (1 G, 1 A)
2. Evgeny Svechnikov (1 G, 1 A)
3. Anthony Mantha (1 G, 1 A)