Quick Hits: Sabres vs. Red Wings

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Buffalo has notably struggled against the Detroit Red Wings as of late, 2-7-1 in their last 10 against the Wings, but tonight looked like a shift in a different direction.

Despite a 2-1 shootout loss, Buffalo held their own throughout the entire matchup and almost won the game on at least four different occasions. Safe to say the puck was not on Buffalo’s side tonight.

The first period was dominated by mediocrity. Both Buffalo and Detroit certainly collected their chances, Buffalo more so than Detroit, but neither team could grab the early advantage.

After one period, the game was tied at zero despite Buffalo outshooting Detroit 9-7.

As for the second period, Detroit was able to grab the first goal after some decent (note: disgusting) passing skills from old friend Thomas Vanek.

Ryan Sproul started the play with a brilliant tape-to-tape pass to a streaking Thomas Vanek. From there, Vanek noticed he had Josh Gorges on a two-on-one, with Gustav Nyquist trailing. Vanek spun around, passing over the Nyquist and was he ever ready for the one-time.

Nyquist made no mistake sniping the puck past Robin Lehner, for his 4th goal of the season at 16:00 of the second period.

Despite the second period goal against, Buffalo continued to build off increasing offensive pressure and this was quite evident throughout the entire third period.

Persistent pressure paid off early on in the third period, when Brian Gionta crashed the net on an Evander Kane shot-on-goal.

Gionta didn’t get much on the redirection but there was enough of something to put the puck past Jimmy Howard and into the net. Gionta’s 4th of the season, at 1:42 of the third, tied the game up at 1.

Buffalo certainly did not turn the pressure off as the period continued, but luck just clearly was not on their side this evening. The Sabres had at least four prime opportunities to take the lead over the Wings, but the puck did not break in their direction.

This game would head to overtime, which proved to be just as exciting.

Tonight’s overtime was essentially the Ryan O’Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen show. Both skaters were dazzling with their stick handling ability and ability to deke / crash the net.

As the story continues to go with this season, if the game gets to overtime..it ends in a shootout. Tonight was no different.

Sam Reinhart dazzled again with the puck on his stick in the shootout, but unfortunately that was not enough for Buffalo.

No one could’ve predicted what noted shootout specialist Thomas Vanek would do. Oh wait, yeah we all knew what was coming: a dazzling shootout goal.

I’m not even mad, that was a beautiful show of hands.

With tonight’s shootout loss, the Buffalo Sabres fall to 7-8-5 with 19 points in 20 games. This has Buffalo in 15th place in the Eastern Conference.

Buffalo gets Thursday off for a quick Thanksgiving break, before heading to Washington on Friday afternoon to take on the Capitals at the Verizon Center. Make sure to pay attention to the early game time with puck drop shortly after 5 PM. The game will be broadcast locally on MSG.

Over to the quick hits!

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    • Jack Eichel, back on ice.

praise-be
For the first time in what seems like forever, Jack Eichel has stepped back on the ice for the first time since suffering a high-ankle sprain before the season began.

Beat reporters and players alike were talking about how crisp Eichel looked on the ice and got everyone a little giddy. “He looks so good out there,” forward Ryan O’Reilly told collected media, as reported by Bill Hoppe. “I was just watching, he’s just so smooth on his skates. It looks like he could play already.”

Dan Bylsma himself was excited, but quickly poured cold water on the excitement. “I’m not putting a timeframe on it,” said Bylsma. “But you’re starting to see the end.”

IT IS A THANKSGIVING MIRACLE (and hopefully a Christmas one when Eichel hopefully returns to the lineup before Christmas).

    • Oh offense, where art thou?

ANOTHER hockey Buffalo Sabres hockey game that features one goal scored or less. I want to drown myself.

At some point, this team has to have breaks go their way..right? As mentioned above, Buffalo had so many opportunities (many of them wide open net) that fell by the wayside.

Better is still not good enough at this point.

    • Tweet of Game

    • Happy Thanksgiving!
thx

merry christmas.

Written by Ryan Wolfe

Ryan Wolfe is the founder and editor-in-chief of BLTD Sports. He can be heard on the BLTD Podcast. Ryan's writing is also featured over at TheHockeyWriters.com.

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