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39-31-12

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24 SOG
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game recap

Red Wings 4, Sabres 2

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:10 AM

Associated Press

 

BUFFALO -- Mired in their worst slump in nearly 20 years, the Red Wings were determined to end the misery.

Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula each had a goal and assist, and Dominik Hasek made 22 saves against his former team in Detroit's 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night.

It may have been only the second win the past 12 games (2-8-2) for the Red Wings, but it felt like a playoff victory for a struggling team that came in enduring its worst stretch since going 0-9-3 from Oct. 21-Nov. 16, 1989.

"We were waiting for a game like this," Hasek said. "We weren't playing bad, we just couldn't score the goals. Today, we finally scored a few goals and played well defensively. Overall, I think Buffalo didn't have too many chances."

That they didn't, especially early on when the Red Wings took 18 shots on net while playing nearly most of the first period in the Sabres' zone.

"We talked a lot about just getting to the net and shooting the puck," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We got off to a good start, and had the puck a lot."

Dallas Drake and Kirk Maltby also scored for the Red Wings, who snapped a four-game losing streak and pulled five points ahead of the Dallas Stars for the top spot in the Western Conference.

What made the win even that much sweeter for the Red Wings was the absence of Henrik Zetterberg from the scoresheet. It didn't matter that Detroit's leading scorer didn't figure in on any of the scoring, with the grinding line of Drake, Maltby and Kris Draper picking up with two goals and an assist.

"We need to contribute more to help out," said Maltby, who scored for the first time since Oct. 26. "We've been finding ways to lose games, and we weren't getting the job done. Tonight, we got the lead and finished strong."

Hasek, making his second straight start after being sidelined for nearly three weeks with a hip injury, improved to 5-1-2 in nine career games against the Sabres, the team he developed into a star for from 1992-2001.

The Red Wings once again played without three key injured defensemen: Nicklas Lidstrom (knee), Brian Rafalski (groin) and Chris Chelios (knee).

Rookie Patrick Kaleta and Jason Pominville scored for the slumping Sabres, who lost for the fourth time in five games (1-3-1). Buffalo continues to be in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind eighth-place Philadelphia.

Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller finished with 35 saves.

"We have to get better," he said. "There's no excuses. Every last guy has to be smarter and better."

Kaleta opened the scoring just under three minutes in when he snuck a wrist shot from the slot that got past Hasek.

But the Red Wings gained control with three unanswered goals that bridged the first and second periods, with Drake's third of the year at 11:56 of the first sparking the spurt.

Filppula made it 2-1 with a power-play goal five minutes into the second, converting a nifty tic-tac-toe passing play with Jiri Hudler and Franzen. It was Filppula's 18th of the season, and second in three games.

Franzen then pushed Detroit's lead to 3-1 just over nine minutes later with his 13th.

Pominville's power-play goal - his 20th overall - 3:12 into the third made it 3-2. Maltby capped the scoring with his fourth with 4:08 remaining in regulation.

"We didn't play the way we wanted to," Pominville said. "As the game went on we got better, but against a team like Detroit, the best team in the league, it was too late."

GAME NOTES: Buffalo C Jochen Hecht missed his fifth game because of a pulled leg muscle/groin injury. ... Detroit starts a season-high five-game homestand on Wednesday against St. Louis. ... Pominville was named Buffalo's captain for the month of March. ... Miller, a Michigan native, made his 19th consecutive start. ... It was the first time Detroit played in Buffalo since Dec. 10, 2003.

scoring summary
1st Period
02:59
BUF
Patrick Kaleta (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Maxim Afinogenov (12), Adam Mair (7)
1 - 0 BUF
11:56
DET
Dallas Drake (3) Tip-in - ASST: Niklas Kronwall (23), Kris Draper (8)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
05:11
DET
PPG - Valtteri Filppula (18) Slapshot - ASST: Jiri Hudler (25), Johan Franzen (7)
2 - 1 DET
14:16
DET
Johan Franzen (13) Wrist shot - ASST: Niklas Kronwall (24), Mikael Samuelsson (25)
3 - 1 DET
3rd Period
03:12
BUF
PPG - Jason Pominville (20) Wrist shot - ASST: Drew Stafford (16)
3 - 2 DET
15:52
DET
Kirk Maltby (4) Slapshot - ASST: Pavel Datsyuk (53), Valtteri Filppula (14)
4 - 2 DET
penalty summary
1st Period
08:00
BUF
Dmitri Kalinin  Hooking against  Johan Franzen
09:16
BUF
Derek Roy  Holding against  Henrik Zetterberg
2nd Period
03:54
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Hi-sticking against  Tomas Kopecky
07:26
DET
Henrik Zetterberg  Tripping against  Drew Stafford
09:11
DET
Kris Draper  Hooking against  Maxim Afinogenov
17:24
DET
Brad Stuart  Holding against  Maxim Afinogenov
3rd Period
02:56
DET
Niklas Kronwall  Interference against  Patrick Kaleta
04:38
BUF
Maxim Afinogenov  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Kirk Maltby
04:38
DET
Kirk Maltby  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Maxim Afinogenov
05:46
BUF
Toni Lydman  Hooking against  Johan Franzen
11:22
BUF
Drew Stafford  Tripping against  Tomas Holmstrom
19:08
DET
Valtteri Filppula  Hooking against  Toni Lydman
goalie stats
Dominik Hasek
SA: 24TOI: 59:59
Saves: 22EV: 15 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .917SH: 1 - 1
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
SA: 39TOI: 58:43
Saves: 35EV: 23 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 13
SV%: .897SH: 0 - 0

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