Detroit — The holiday break is going to be a little sweeter for the Red Wings.
They made mistakes and lost two players during the game, but they scored some goals for a change and defeated the Buffalo Sabres 6-3.
Tomas Tatar had two power-play goals, and Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen (power play) added third-period goals for the Red Wings, who overcame a 3-2 deficit, and ended a six-game winless streak.
"We didn't give up," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We made some mistakes early and they capitalized on our mistakes. But we really dug in, got great leadership, the specialty teams worked, and we stuck with it and found a way to win."
Tatar broke a 3-3 tie at 11:40 with his 13th goal.
Danny DeKeyser found Tatar alone in the circle and Tatar beat goalie Michal Neuvirth cleanly — the first time the Red Wings had scored more than three goals since December 4.
Tatar made it 6-3 with his 14th goal at 17:48, ending the Red Wings scoring.
"We were playing good but we just couldn't get going (early)," Tatar said. "Every time something bad happened to us, they'd score a goal. But we kept hustling and playing."
Franzen's goal, his seventh, at 14:06 was his first since Nov. 20, a span of 14 games.
Stephen Weiss (power play) and Danny DeKeyser added Red Wings goals. It was the first time in seven games the Red Wings had scored more than two.
"We've been playing fine but finding ways to lose," Babcock said. "You can't lose and stay in a good place in the standings."
Nicolas Deslauriers, Chris Stewart and Andre Benoit (shorthanded) scored for the Sabres (13-19-3, 29 points).
The Red Wings lost Niklas Kronwall and Weiss to hits near the head area.
Kronwall was sandwiched by two Sabres in the second period and was caught flush in the upper body by Buffalo forward Tyler Ennis.
Kronwall got up slowly and skated cautiously to the bench, sat out several shifts, then left for the locker room. He would not return. General manager Ken Holland said Kronwall is day-to-day with an upper body injury.
Weiss, playing his first game after missing four with a shoulder injury, took what appeared to be an elbow to the head from Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov.
Weiss did not return but said afterward he was feeling fine.
"I didn't see him," Weiss said. "I couldn't tell you what happened. I was a little woozy there but I feel fine. I had my bell rung a little bit but I went through the protocol.
"It was nice to hear the buzzer go off a few times (indicating a goal). That made it a little easier."
DeKeyser cut the Sabres lead to 3-2 with a crucial second-period goal.
The Sabres couldn't clear the puck, Tomas Jurco gathered it and found DeKeyser, who wristed a shot that beat Neuvirth for his second goal at 17:54.
"That gave us a little bit of a life," Babcock said.
The Red Wings desperately needed a spark after falling behind 3-1 and getting increasingly frustrated by Neuvirth and the Sabres' blocked shots (16 through two periods).
Buffalo took a 3-1 lead on Benoit's shorthanded goal.
Benoit started the play, blocking Jakub Kind's shot from the top of the slot.
Brian Flynn controlled the loose puck and fed Benoit, going in alone on a breakaway. Benoit beat goalile Petr Mrazek high for his first goal, at the 9 minute mark.
The Red Wings outshot the Sabres 11-4 in the second period, continuing their domination from the first period (15-6 shots advantage), but were unable to stop the opportunistic Sabres.
"We were playing good enough hockey to win games but couldn't find a way to do it," Zetterberg said of the winless streak. "Tonight we were down from the start but we found a way to come back. It was nice to see us score six goals in the end.
"Christmas will be a lot nicer."