A plethora of penalties and crucial mistakes proved too costly for the Red Wings, who failed to convert on dominating stretches of play against a Sabres team on the back end of a back to back.
The Red Wings went into Sunday trying to build on consecutive wins against the Canadiens and Senators, a third win in a row would match their longest win streak of the season. But after only five minutes of play, Evan Rodrigues, who hadn’t scored all year, had put the Sabres up 2-0.
It didn’t get much better from there either. On a Red Wings powerplay, Zadina made a poor pass to the point, which Fabbri misplayed and in turn lead to a breakaway opportunity for Girgensons who burried it past Jimmy Howard.
The Wings came out of the dressing room for the 2nd period and played like a team that was behind the 8-ball. They flat out dominated the period, one of their better periods in the last month.
However, all the possession and scoring chances only lead to one goal, a fantastic wrist shot from Madison Bowey midway through the period. Failed chances and not being able to convert on powerplay opportunities in the 2nd period would be what would cost them.
The 3rd period, and essentially the game for the Red Wings, was over in the first few minutes. It started with a complete defensive zone breakdown by Hronek and Abdelkader which lead to Zach Bogosian’s first goal of the season.
Shortly after, Mike Green took a penalty, and on the ensuing powerplay Ristolainen scored to put the Sabres up 5-1, which would be how the game would end.
While there were plenty of negatives to look at after this game, the Fabbri/Bertuzzi/Larkin line still continues to be a constant positive. The three were on the ice for 11:21 of 5 on 5 play tonight, created 6 scoring chances for and posted a CF% of 75%. It brings up an interesting debate of what will Blashill do when Anthony Mantha returns.
The Wings play next on Tuesday on the road against the Islanders.