Wings fall to Sabres as point streak goes kaput

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Henrik Zetterberg tries to tie up the Sabres' Jack Eichel in the third period.

Detroit — The point streak came to a quick and incredible end for the Red Wings.

Buffalo scored two goals 61 seconds apart late in the third period and defeated the Red Wings, 2-1, Monday at Joe Louis Arena.

Ryan O'Reilly and Johan Larsson scored goals as the Sabres ended the Red Wings' 13-game point streak.

Losing third-period leads has been a problem for the Red Wings, but this one was a little different from the others.

In this game, give the Sabres credit for getting the puck to the net and creating opportunities for themselves.

"Before when we lost leads in the third period, we kind of stopped playing," forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "I don't think we did that as bad. They kind of made some plays there.

"On the tying goal, I lost my guy and he tips it in. Then it's a shot from the point right to their guy, too. We kept playing. We kept creating chances in third, there, too. But it's disappointing to get out of this game with nothing."

BOX SCORE: Sabres 2, Red Wings 1

Maybe this sort of result was bound to happen for the Red Wings (16-9-6, 38 points), who lost a two-goal lead Friday in New Jersey.

Learning how to secure victories is something this Red Wings team is learning how to do.

"We have to work on closing out games," said forward Brad Richards, who scored the Red Wings' goal. "Two goals (allowed) in the last five minutes is not how we want to do things. It seems like it's happening a little bit too often.

"But going into the third period, late in the period with a lead, we have to close it out."

Larsson scored the game-winner at 16 minutes, 47 seconds.

Mike Green got his skate on a shot but kicked the puck straight to Larsson alone in the slot.

Larsson made no mistake scoring his first goal of the season, beating goalie Petr Mrazek, and giving the Sabres a 2-1 lead.

The Red Wings challenged the goal, believing the Sabres were off-sides on the play, but officials ruled the goal was good.

After coming close most of the night, O'Reilly tied it 1-1 at 15:46 with his 11th goal.

Buffalo won the draw and kept the puck in the zone.

They got the puck to Sam Reinhart at the point, Reinhart shot the puck, and O'Reilly redirected the puck with his stick,

"We had some opportunities and there were some things we did well," coach Jeff Blashill said. "But we have to find a way to win the hockey games."

The 13-game streak, in which the Red Wings were 8-0-5, was the longest for the Red Wings since a 20-game streak of earning points in March 2006.

Monday's loss also ended a stretch of nine games the Red Wings had earned a point at Joe Louis Arena (6-0-3).

The Red Wings had a penalty shot attempt by Tomas Jurco in the second period, but Chad Johnson turned away the attempt.

An 0-for-2 night on the power play — including one just before the Buffalo rally — made for a disappointing offensive Red Wings performance.

"We have to find a way to score the next goal," Blashill said. "We had a power play late, we have to score. You have to find a way to make plays, defensively or offensively and tonight we were on play away.

"We have to find ways to make that play."