The Buffalo Sabres played Friday night against another of their divisional rivals. It was the Detroit Red Wings who visited the Key Bank Center for the last meeting between these two teams this season in Downtown Buffalo. Detroit came into the night on a three-game winning streak while Buffalo has won 3 of their last 5. Tyler Ennis played for the Sabres, only his second appearance on the roster since November having sustained another injury.
Buffalo buzzed the Detroit zone for the majority of the period outshooting the Red Wings 13 to 11. Just 56 seconds in Gustav Nyquist tripped Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe sending him out with a shoulder injury. The Sabres outhitting the team in red 5 to 4 but would fall behind in the only statistic that mattered. At 9:02 into the period Red Wings defenseman Mike Green sprung Frans Nielsen for a net-crashing power play goal for a 1-0 lead. While Buffalo would continue to buzz the Red Wings zone, the scoreline would remain the same to end the period.
Sam Reinhart broke the bagel on the board for Buffalo on a redirect from a Jack Eichel shot in front of the net 5:06 into the second period. The remainder of the period saw a gradual increase in pressure from the Red Wings. However, Anders Nilsson would continue to stand on his head.
Detroit came out firing on all cylinders in the 3rd period. Through the first 10 minutes, they barraged Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson. Through the storm of pucks, the Sabres survived two penalties. Unfortunately, the shooting frenzy finally forced Nilsson to yield a goal to Detroit center Darren Helm on an assist from Justin Abdelkader to jump back in front at 2-1. Then with less than five minutes left in the game Sabre forward, Ryan O’Reilly willed his way around the net and fired shot top shelf point blank on Detroit goaltender Petr Mrazek and equalized the game once more.
This crazy game would ultimately end up in overtime and a dramatic overtime at that. At 1:51 into the 5 minute overtime period, Sabres Kyle Okposo was penalized for hooking against former Sabre Thomas Vanek. With the 4-3 man advantage, the Detroit side fought to end it once again barraging the undermanned Sabres. Buffalo survived, and the luck of the striped shirts broke in their favor when Red Wing Frans Nielsen was penalized for hooking on Rasmus Ristolainen. The ensuing power play led to a skilled goal in front of the Detroit net by the one who put the Sabres on the first penalty kill of the OT; Kyle Okposo.
The Buffalo Sabres won 3-2 with 26 seconds left in overtime. Buffalo is right back at it Saturday night against the current leaders of the Atlantic Division Montreal Canadiens. They will be flying to Montreal to play them on Hockey Night in Canada in what will almost certainly be a Robin Lehner versus Carey Price matchup. Montreal is coming off a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils in Newark, New Jersey Friday night.
Friday night hockey. Overtime win.
Hear the roar of the crowd & Rick Jeanneret’s call as we win our 4th straight at home. pic.twitter.com/G9EfslTHHD
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 21, 2017