In a final push for a playoff spot, the Detroit Red Wings were able to hold off the last-place Buffalo Sabres by a final of 4-2 at First Niagara Center on Tuesday night. Darren Helm scored the go-ahead goal for Detroit, and David Legwand netted the game-winner in the third to lift the Wings over Buffalo.
The Sabres were able to take the first lead of the night, but lost it and were never able to regain it, falling victim to the scoring prowess of the Wings. Zemgus Girgensons scored the only two goals for Buffalo, and Matt Hackett made 33 saves in the loss.
The first period remained scoreless, but the Sabres managed to strike first in the early moments of the second period. At 1:31, Cody Hodgson threw a puck towards the front of Detroit’s net where Zemgus Girgensons was camped and tipped the puck in for his 7th goal of the season. Mike Webber added an assist on the play.
The Red Wings were able to tie it up later on in the period on an odd man rush opportunity. At 12:28, Johan Franzen made a pass to Brendan Smith who put a quick wrist shot past the outstretched arm of Matt Hackett for his fifth tally of the season. Daniel Alfredsson earned an assist on the goal as well.
Detroit was able to take the lead in the early on in the third period. Kyle Quincey took a screened shot from the point that rebounded in front of Hackett, and Darren Helm was there to clean up the garbage and roof a wrist shot for his 12th goal of the season. The goal came at 3:33 in the third.
Later in period the Wings extended their lead to two at 15:46. Poor puck control in the Sabres’ defensive zone allowed David Legwand a free shot on Hackett that beat him through the five-hole. Drew Miller disrupted the Sabres’ ability to clear the zone, producing an assist on the play.
The Sabres were able to manufacture a goal just over two minutes later to bring it back within one. Zemgus Girgensons earned a spot on the highlight reel when he single handedly beat the Red Wings’ defense and put one top shelf past Jimmy Howard. If you missed the goal here it is for you:
Despite late momentum, the Sabres were not able to come back, and Pavel Datsyuk tallied an empty-netter to seal the game.
The Red Wings continue their pursuit for a playoff spot on Wednesday against the Penguins. The Sabres travel to New York on Thursday to take on the Rangers.