Holding leads is for cowards: Red Wings defeat Sabres 3-2 in OT

Winging It In Motown

Last time we played the Sabres, Mo Seider picked up his first goal for the OT winner. Goooooood times. Wouldn’t it be neat if Raymond scored in OT against the Sabres too?

One notable line switchup is Zadina dropped to the fourth line for his birthday. It’s game #500 for Vlad Namestnikov if you can believe it. But the most important story is it’s Hockey Fights Cancer night!

And for anyone playing along at home, we are at V in my alliterative names for the penalty box series and I’m going to be making some interesting reaches for names to close out the alphabet. Strap in.

First Period

Our top line is immediately buzzing as the Sabres make an interesting team defensive choice to bunch up like a soccer team of five year olds and leave Bert wide open for a nice shot attempt.

Givani Smith took the opportunity to go smash but unfortunately it was off camera so we couldn’t enjoy it beyond Ken Daniels saying it happened. Henri Jokiharju did not enjoy it.

Vlad, Erne and Ras are playing pretty well as a line so far, it’s always hard to tell what kind of game Ras is going to have but so far so good. And you know how much Ken likes the Guelph Storm line with Smith, Fabbri and Suter playing together. Well, he may not like the line’s hockey skills all the time but he likes saying it.

Quick period so far but also kind of boring?

Sabres finally had their first real scoring chance with under 7 minutes to go, Cozens walked through everybody to make sure Ned was still awake. Bounced off Ned, clank off the goalpost, and all is well.

Ken and Mick debating ways to be better at winning faceoffs. Please submit all applications for Wings Faceoff Specialist by December 1.

A great setup for Raymond but nope. I shouldn’t have said anything nice about Ras because he just got slashed in the back of the knee and he is in pain. Check off the “Mick talking about how there’s no protection there” bingo square.

Ras cross checked Hagg so Hagg gave him a slash in the back of the knee. Ras heads down the tunnel and Rowney serves the penalty. So with just over 2 minutes to go Rowney (as Rasmussen) and Hagg are both in their respective Villain Villas. 4v4 to end the first period (with a few seconds to spare).

Just kidding! Dahlin gets called for goaltender interference after bowling over Ned from behind. It looked like Oesterle had a lot of influence over Dahlin’s trajectory, but we’ll take it. Dahlin to the Wretch Wardrobe and the Wings will have about a minute of powerplay time to start the second.

Still tied 0-0 but edge to the Wings if you’re going by the “eye test”. If you’re going by stats it’s…ehhh.

Second Period

Ras is back on the bench and good to go. We’ve got half a powerplay and didn’t do anything with it. Back to full strength and another good rush from Erne, Ras and Vlad. A good save stops them but again it’s a good sign that they’re buzzing.

Our first real net front scramble of the night about five minutes in as Bert tries to make the redirect, Larkin picks up the rebound and then bounces it off Bert’s skate. Then there goes Vlad again on the rush but misses the net.

Unfortunately, missing that shot hurts even more as the Sabres pick up the bounce off the boards and immediately race into our zone and put it in the net. 1-0 Sabres as Murray sets up Cozens for a tap in goal. Not a lot more Ned could have done about that but he wants it back as he sits in the crease contemplating his life, looking skyward for intervention.

11 minutes to go and Larkin and Bertuzzi go rushing in and YIKES, Bert goes for the one knee slapper and whiffs, slips and slides crashing himself hard into the boards. Seems a little shaken up and rightly so, but he’s back for his next shift.

Red Wings score…maybe? A big pileup in the crease and the puck does eventually go in the net. Rowney and Zadina are both involved and both in the blue. Buffalo doesn’t challenge so RED WINGS DEFINITELY DO SCORE!! TIE GAME. Credit for the goal goes to fourth line hero and birthday boy, Filip Zadina. They don’t give Rowney an assist. Frowney.

It might even be Lindstrom’s goal. Or my goal. Or your goal.

Narrator: Later we would learn it’s Rowney’s goal with Lindstrom and Gagner getting the assists.

Red Wings score again…maybe? Smith and Suter are in the pileup this time, Dahlin’s butt may have pushed Givani into the blue and into the goalie, but enough for it to be, or not to be, interference? A lot of arguing on the Sabres bench. But no challenge so RED WINGS DEFINITELY DO SCORE AGAIN! 2-1 RED WINGS. Suter from Smith and Seider.

Two garbage goals 1:19 apart and just like that it’s the Red Wings’ game again. Somehow in all of that Suter ended up with a nosebleed so he’s operating with only one functioning nostril #analysis. Doesn’t stop him from getting more scoring opportunities, he’s got a nose for goals now.

2:30 to go and Hronek gets pushed awkwardly into the boards and goes over to the bench. He should go into concussion protocol but we know that doesn’t always happen. Okposo did the pushing but it looked like he felt bad about it and wasn’t like “aha it’s murder time”. In any case, he gets the boarding penalty and goes to sit in the Xanthogastrus Xenodochium. Red Wings powerplay!

I SAID WHAT I SAID. If you’ve got something better for X, leave it in the comments and I’ll steal it for later.

The boarding penalty was only 2 minutes, if Okposo had started throwing punches at everybody I could see it being a major penalty but his immediate remorse may have worked in his favor.

The last 30 seconds of the period are back to 5v5 and Wings take a couple of shots in that time trying to make the most of it. But nothing more and we’ll head into the third with Wings up 2-1.

Third Period

One minute in and it’s time for a Red Wings powerplay! Colin Miller goes to the You-Can’t-Do-That Yard (said in Wes McCauley’s voice) for hooking Bertuzzi. The Red Wings powerplay does not work.

Sabres get a 2v1 rush but Oesterle makes a great block to keep Ned from needing to Make An Effort.

A fairly slow paced period through the first half, but Ken and Mick are here to bring some energy of their own:

Bert takes a puck to the knee and heads off to the bench, he’s been shooting the puck a lot and has now gotten hit by a puck and crashed himself into the boards. Junkyard Dog doing junkyard dog things.

Five minutes to go, Wings still up 2-1. Shots 39-27 Wings.

Two minutes, empty net…you know what that means

Sabres score. Jeff Skinner ties the game.

One minute…

Called it.

OVERTIME

Larkin with Ras and Hronek. Ras goes off immediately and here comes Raymond. LUCAS RAYMOND SCORING LEADER WINS THE GAME! 26 seconds and it’s over.

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