Sabres win wild game over Detroit in shootout

Dylan Cozens joins the 30-goal club, Owen Power racks up three assists, and Alex Tuch pots the shootout winner in a 7-6 victory

Detroit, Mich. (WGR 550) - Despite coughing up a couple of two-goal leads in enemy territory, the Buffalo Sabres were able to escape a battle with the Detroit Red Wings with two points on Thursday night following a shootout at Little Caesars Arena.

The 7-6 victory marked a Sabres season sweep over the Red Wings as well, going 4-0-0 against Detroit.

Things got going early for the Sabres just four minutes into the game. Alex Tuch forced Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin to hook him on a breakaway, which resulted in a penalty shot attempt for Tuch. However, his backhand attempt whistled high above Detroit goalie Ville Husso.

35 seconds later, the blue and gold hit pay dirt thanks to their leading scorer. Tage Thompson went across the grain for the 45th goal of his career campaign.

The lead would not last too long for Buffalo. With 10:38 gone in the game, Detroit answered back with a little help from their opposition. Forward Austin Czarnik's shot deflected off the stick of ATuch on its way in-behind Devon Levi on the short-side.

The Red Wings took their first lead of the night minutes later on their first power play opportunity. Larkin's re-direct from the low slot trickled in-between the legs of Levi, who was moving to his right.

Detroit's lead was short-lived, as the Sabres countered with two more goals of their own before period's end.

First, it was defenseman Henri Jokiharju left all alone in the slot to tie the score at 2-2. Extracurricular activities ensued after Jokiharju's goal, leading to a four-minute double minor against the Red Wings.

Dylan Cozens and the Sabres made the home team pay once the dust settled. With his goal at the 19:08 mark of the first, Cozens joined Thompson, Tuch and Jeff Skinner as part of the 30-goal club for the 2022-23 season.

The Sabres picked up right where they left off come the start of the second period. A mere 93 seconds in, a couple of veterans teamed up for a beautiful give-and-go as they entered the Red Wings end. It was Girgensons who gets credit for his 10th goal of the year.

Detroit came roaring back in the late stages of the middle stanza, though, as they refused to roll over. Successive goals from Alex Chiasson (power play) and Simon Edvinsson made it a brand new game at 4-4. Chiasson and Edvinsson's tallies came just 48 seconds apart.

Early in the third, it was the Sabres' turn to lump a couple of quick goals together.

First, it was Jordan Greenway getting off a quick snap shot off a feed from Casey Mittelstadt to give Buffalo the lead again, 5-4.

72 seconds later, Cozens was able to use some speed to create some space between him and the Red Wings defenders, and he fired home his 31st goal of the season through the legs of Husso.

No matter what the Sabres tried on Thursday, the Red Wings would not exhibit any quit in their game. Once more, Detroit erased a two-goal deficit and forced overtime. The final regulation game-tying goal came with a minute to play, off the stick of veteran winger David Perron.

Overtime bore no fruit on the scoreboard, but it was filled with chances aplenty for the Sabres, especially. They were not able to get the game-winner past Husso though, so on came the shootout.

After Thompson got stopped in the top of the first, Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond put immediate pressure on the Sabres with a goal in the bottom half of Round 1.

Jack Quinn cameup clutch in the second round and evened the shootout at 1-1, followed by a Levi save on Perron.

The decisive third round went way of the Sabres, as Tuch made good on his missed penalty shot in the first period by burying the shootout game-winner to send everyone back to Buffalo with two points.

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Goal Summary:

First Period:
BUF: 4:35 - Tage Thompson (45) (Dylan Cozens, Owen Power); 17:10 - Henri Jokiharju (2) (Alex Tuch, Casey Mittelstadt); 19:08 - Dylan Cozens (30) PPG (Peyton Krebs, Owen Power)
DET: 10:38 - Austin Czarnik (3) (Jonatan Berggren, Jake Walman); 15:05 - Dylan Larkin (32) PPG (Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider)

Second Period:
BUF: 1:33 - Zemgus Girgensons (10) (Kyle Okposo, Owen Power)
DET: 16:04 - Alex Chiasson (6) PPG (Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond); 16:52 - Simon Edvinsson (2) (Unassisted)

Third Period:
BUF: 3:20 - Jordan Greenway (6) (Casey Mittelstadt, Kyle Okposo); 4:32 - Dylan Cozens (31) (Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin)
DET: 8:02 - Jonatan Berggren (15) (Matt Luff); 19:00 - David Perron (23) (Moritz Seider, Lucas Raymond)



BUF: Tage Thompson - Save
DET: Lucas Raymond - GOAL
BUF: Jack Quinn - GOAL
DET: David Perron - Save
BUF: Alex Tuch - GOAL
DET: Dylan Larkin - Save


Penalty Summary:

First Period:
BUF: 14:03 - JJ Peterka (Hooking - 2 min.); 17:10 - Jeff Skinner (Cross-checking - 2 min.)
DET: 4:00 - Dylan Larkin (Hooking on breakaway); 7:02 - Jake Walman (Holding - 2 min.); 17:10 - Jake Walman (Roughing - 4 min.); 17:10 - Dylan Larkin (Roughing - 2 min.)

Second Period:
BUF: 11:11 - Kyle Okposo (Tripping - 2 min.); 15:00 - Henri Jokiharju (Holding - 2 min.)

Third Period:





Photo credit Losi and Gangi

Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:

1.) Dylan Cozens - BUF
2.) Owen Power - BUF
3.) Lucas Raymond - DET


What's next:

The blue and gold return home to host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon at KeyBank Center. Puck drop is set for 12:30 p.m. ET with the pregame show with Brian Koziol starting at 11:30 a.m. ET on the flagship home of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Tim Fuller - USA TODAY Sports