A slow start costs the Sabres in loss against Detroit

Apr 7, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Lyon (34) makes a save in the
Apr 7, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Lyon (34) makes a save in the / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres playoff hopes were still alive after their most recent victory against the Philadelphia Flyers. Buffalo was only four points back of the second wild-card spot coming into today's crucial game against the Detroit Red Wings.

With every game being a playoff game for the Sabres, it was the biggest game of the year as they were facing another team in Detroit who is also battling to make the postseason. After Buffalo generated a couple of chances quickly, the Red Wings struck first 53 seconds into the game.

Patrick Kane loves playing against his hometown team and he made it 2-0 after terrible defense from the Sabres. Jack Quinn tried to force two neutral zone passes and they both got intercepted by Detroit, leading to goals.

Henri Jokiharju took a penalty and the Red Wings made him and Buffalo pay as Dylan Larkin extended the lead to 3-0. A few minutes later, Buffalo went on the power play. They needed to respond and Tage Thompson did just that as he scored his 29th goal of the season. After a lackluster first few minutes, the Sabres looked better heading into the second period.

The Sabres were the better team in the second period but the score remained the same as Buffalo headed into the biggest period of their season down by two. Both teams had good chances but it was Buffalo who had better chances to score.

There was no more scoring in the period and unfortunately for Buffalo, they would lose another critical game against Detroit.

Postgame thoughts

If you ask me, the first period was the deciding factor in this one. The Red Wings didn't score any more goals after the first period and you have to think how the rest of the game would've gone if Quinn hadn't forced not one but two passes that led to two of Detroit's three goals. The Sabres had more chances to score as well but they couldn't convert.

Buffalo played better after the Red Wings went up 3-0 but it didn't matter. The Sabres will be in Dallas on Tuesday night.