The Detroit Red Wings started the front end of its home-and-home against Buffalo at Little Caesars Arena Saturday night. It was a good start to the mini-series.
Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist and Alex Nedeljkovic pitched his first shutout as a Wing as Detroit snapped its four game losing streak with a 4-0 win over Buffalo.
Bertuzzi opened up the scoring, getting one on the much maligned power play, giving him his 18th of the season. The Red Wings had a flurry of chances when Aaron Dell scrambled to keep the puck out of the net. Robby Fabbri had a point blank chance with Dell’s back to him, but the puck whistled wide. Detroit would get a four minute power play after Sam Gagner was clipped in the face late in the first period. The Red Wings would capitalize again, this time Robby Fabbri burying a chance off a puck deflected from Bertuzzi–it was a second powerplay goal and a 2-0 lead.
The Wings continued their assault on the Sabres net, outshooting Buffalo 22-6 in the first period and seizing momentum heading into the second period.
Buffalo would get an early power play opportunity in the second period, but couldn’t capitalize on it. But the Sabres would get another chance after a too-many-men penalty on the Red Wings. Detroit would kill it off as well.
The Red Wings didn’t muster the offensive gusto they had in the first after Michael Rasmussen took a penalty, putting the Red Wings on the kill for six of the first 12 minutes of the period. The Red Wings finally got a power play late in the period and sustained pressure well, getting several chances but ultimately unable to score. Lucas Raymond hit the post but it was the closest they’d get on the chance. The Red Wings headed to the intermission up still 2-0.
Raymond squeezed one by Dell early in the third on a beauty of a feed from Dylan Larkin, giving Detroit a 3-0 lead. Rasmussen would get Detroit’s fourth goal of the night on a breakaway, sealing any Buffalo thought of a comeback.
It was a nice win for the Red Wings, starved for goals, especially on the power play, and a victory. It was a little bit of everything for a Detroit–and couldn’t come a moment too soon.