EditorsNote: Minor fixes, including changing the spelling of “White” to “While” in eighth graf
Buffalo’s Casey Mittelstadt and Kyle Okposo scored on power plays in a decisive three-goal second period Saturday afternoon as the Sabres earned a 3-1 victory over the visiting Detroit Red Wings.
Conor Sheary also scored a goal for the Sabres, who improved to 5-1-0 in afternoon games this season. Buffalo is 7-2-1 against Detroit since the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
Jack Eichel notched his career-high 41st assist, Mittelstadt stretched his point streak to four games and Sheary posted his sixth point in his last seven games in Buffalo’s second-period outburst.
Sabres defensemen Marco Scandella and Rasmus Ristolainen each reached milestones as Scandella played in his 500th game and Ristolainen appeared in his 400th.
Dylan Larkin scored for the Red Wings, who dropped their second straight and have lost both meetings against Buffalo this season. Thomas Vanek and Andreas Athanasiou each registered assists.
Buffalo’s Linus Ullmark made 28 saves, and Detroit’s Jimmy Howard recorded 18.
Neither team could muster much offense in a scoreless first period as Detroit put up 12 shots to Buffalo’s four, while the Red Wings failed on the only power play through the first 20 minutes.
While scoring three times in the second period, Buffalo twice delivered on the man advantage, grabbing a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Sheary scored unassisted when he intercepted Justin Abdelkader’s pass at the blue line and snapped in his ninth goal from the high slot for a 1-0 lead.
Rasmus Dahlin and Eichel worked a perfect passing play to set up Mittelstadt’s eighth goal of the season at 10:05. Dahlin sent a diagonal pass to Eichel in the left circle, and the captain fired it through the slot to Mittelstadt, who connected for a power-play goal.
With Detroit holding the man advantage, Larkin skated in from the right side with the puck, forced Ullmark to the near post and rushed around the goal. He then backhanded in his 23rd of the season to cut the lead to 2-1 before Ullmark could slide back to the far post.
Okposo tacked on his fifth power-play goal and 10th overall this season when he fired a shot over Howard’s glove with 31 seconds remaining in the period, giving Buffalo five goals in its last 10 power-play chances.
The third period was scoreless as Buffalo moved to 2-1-1 on its season-long seven-game homestand.
—Field Level Media