The Buffalo Sabers were disappointed in themselves after the way they were shut out in Detroit on Saturday.
They’ll get a chance to redeem themselves Monday afternoon in a rematch against the Red Wings in Buffalo, NY
The Sabers allowed two goals in the first period and never rallied in the 4-0 shutout.
“They scored two powerplay goals in the first half and that gave them some momentum, but we have to clean that up,” defender Robert Hagg said. “We have to be better on the kill and help our goalkeepers there. »
Sabers goaltender Aaron Dell made 35 saves, but the team was outshot 39-22 with all four Detroit goals at close range.
“He (Dell) is probably the only guy who can feel good after this game,” Hagg said. “The rest of us have to look in the mirror. We’re playing again in 48 hours and we better be ready.”
Buffalo was feeling pretty good two nights earlier when the Sabers snapped a six-game (0-4-2) winless streak with a 4-1 road win over Nashville. Saturday’s early penalties set the tone, as Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi and Robby Fabbri converted on the power play to put the Sabers in an early holeshot.
“It was almost the opposite of what we saw in Nashville,” coach Don Granato said. “There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It just wasn’t good enough from start to finish.”
The Sabers had a chance to get back into the game in the second period when they had three power plays in the first 12 minutes but went empty.
“We didn’t do anything on the powerplay,” said Granato. “The power plays just illustrated the rest of the game.”
It was still just 2-0 going into the third period, but rookie Lucas Raymond scored 13 seconds into the period, which Granato admitted was a “backbreaker”.
“You play like we did for two periods and you actually have a chance in the third,” he said. “You know going into the third it’s just a 2-0 game and you give up one 10-15 seconds when you should be trying to push and that’s disappointing.”
The Red Wings, who won the first two games in overtime, can complete the four-game season streak with four wins on Monday.
Detroit’s two dynamic rookies played major roles in those wins. Defenseman Moritz Seider scored the game-winning goal for his first NHL goal on November 6. Three weeks later, Raymond notched the first game-winning overtime goal of his career.
Raymond had gone 14 games without appearing in Saturday’s game, but he blocked a pass from captain Dylan Larkin past Dell for the 3-0 advantage. Michael Rasmussen added a goal midway through the third period.
“I think the biggest thing is that he doesn’t have to answer all your questions about it,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “That’s one thing about this league – you’re always reminded of things like that, even when you shouldn’t be worried about them. He plays good hockey and he helps us win games, but it’s definitely better to score. “
Blashill said he was encouraged by the success of his special teams. The Wings have scored on the power play in three of the last four games.
“I hope this continues to build confidence,” he said. “Confidence matters, and the special teams were a huge factor.”
However, Detroit had lost four games in a row (0-2-2) after being shut out by Winnipeg in its previous outing.
“It was a big win, especially after being shut out at home last time out,” Bertuzzi said. “We had to stop the losing streak, but now we have to come out in the next game and save that.”
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