Tage Thompson’s monster game for Buffalo Sabres spooks Detroit Red Wings, 8-3

Detroit Free Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Detroit Red Wings let down their goaltender, and let down themselves.

They struggled to consistently challenge the Buffalo Sabres on Monday at KeyBank Center and let a close game deteriorate into a 8-3 shellacking. Tage Thompson had a monster night, completing a hat trick with four minutes to play in the third period; that was on top of the 6-foot-7 forward earning three assists.

It was another loss for goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, but he had a hard night, seeing a ton of traffic and pucks as the Sabres pounded him with 46 shots; the Wings had 17. Even allowing for the Wings missing five regulars up front, it was a bad night.

BLOODY GOOD:Matt Luff: So much blood, but ‘it’s just the mouth’

HAUNTED HOLIDAY:Red Wings’ Halloween road woes

Olli Määttä and David Perron scored to pull the Wings within 4-2 entering the third period. The Sabres dominated the first few minutes of the third period, running up an 8-0 edge in shots, but the Wings stemmed the damage when Dylan Larkin scored during Buffalo’s fourth power play. Rasmus Dahlin converted on the Sabres’ fifth man advantage when his shot deflected in off Määttä. Dylan Cozens added to the damage when he came down the wing and scored at 14:47. Rasmus Asplund completed the bloodshed in the final minute of the game.

Ned change

Nedeljkovic got the start, after Derek Lalonde broke with an early-season rotation trend and started Ville Husso the previous two games. Husso was key to the Wings winning against Minnesota, but Nedeljkovic, who had a shaky outing his previous start against Anaheim, looked back in form. The Sabres succeeded in cycling the puck in Detroit’s zone multiple times in the first period, and Nedeljkovic had a good stretch stopping some grade-A chances. It wasn’t until there were three minutes left in the period that Thompson scored on a slap shot from the left circle, on what was the Sabres’ 13th shot on net.

Net easy

Eric Comrie was with the Wings for a brief time during their horrendous 2019-20 season, appearing in three games at a time the Wings were trying to find someone to back up Jonathan Bernier (during a season in which Jimmy Howard won only two games). It didn’t work out in Detroit, but Comrie, 27, has found a home in Buffalo. The Wings didn’t make it hard on him in the first period; when Thompson scored at 16:52, Comrie had faced just four shots. The Wings finally perked up during four-on-four play late in the first period, with defensemen Filip Hronek and Määttä forcing saves from Comrie.

Second-period swings

Määttä gave the Wings a boost when he scored 1:26 into the second period. The Wings didn’t build off the energy. Instead, Jack Quinn restored Buffalo’s lead four minutes later with a shot that went top shelf. Quinn nearly scored again on an odd-man rush, but Nedeljkovic came through with a save. It got worse for the Wings late in the second period, when Moritz Seider lost the puck and Jeff Skinner was left alone in front of Detroit’s net to make it 3-1. That was at 14:26. When Ben Chiarot was called for a penalty at the 17-minute mark, it left the Wings two skaters down for 1:01. They killed off the 5-on-3 against but gave up a 5-on-4 power play goal to Thompson, who picked up his fourth point of the game at 18:30. Perron undid some of the damage when he managed to score in the final minute of the period.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter.

Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

Articles You May Like

Which NHL Playoff Drought Will End This Season?
Red Wings: 5 Potential Alternate Captains
Red Wings’ Playoff Drought Will End This Season
Red Wings Top 25 Prospects: Post-2024 NHL Draft

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *