The Detroit Red Wings escaped disaster and delivered a third period that thrilled on Wednesday.
Oskar Sundqvist scored less than two minutes apart to tie a game that had favored the Buffalo Sabres by three goals when the period began. Neither side generated much in overtime, forcing a shootout at Little Caesars Arena. The Sabres prevailed, 5-4.
Similarly to Monday, the Wings didn’t get great goaltending and their power play came up short, even failing to convert during an 87-second two-man advantage with 2:16 to play, which marked the seventh time the Sabres went to the box. But the Wings did to Craig Anderson what they were unable to do to Matt Murray, finishing their five-on-five chances. Sundqvist scored on a quick pop-in from the right side of the net at 10:41 of the third period and followed up at 12:31, both times assisted by Andrew Copp. The Wings had 43 shots at the end of regulation, one less than Monday.
Jonatan Berggren scored in the first period and David Perron in the third; Filip Hronek drew assists on both goals.
The Wings wrap up a five-game home stand Saturday against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Berggren, playing in his ninth game since being called up Nov. 10, continues to prove he belongs in the lineup even when the Wings get healthier. He made it 1-0 just past the opening minute, taking a pass from Filip Hronek and firing the puck from the top of the right circle.
When the Wings went on a power play at 3:33, it was Berggren who had the best chance, forcing a save from Craig Anderson on a deflection attempt. Berggren, a second-round pick from 2018, already has two goals and four assists. That’s six more points than 2018 first-round pick Filip Zadina had in nine games when he suffered an injury.
For a guy making his first start since Nov. 12, it was a rough stretch for Alex Nedeljkovic. During the Wings’ power play, Anderson played the puck up the boards to Dylan Cozens, who raced up ice with Lucas Raymond chasing and fired a shot that hit Nedeljkovic and went between his legs. That was Buffalo’s third shot on goal. Mattias Samuelsson scored on the fourth one, firing a shot that hit Nedeljkovic in the elbow and went in. That was the first period.
In the second, Cozens scored again at the 8:12 mark when he ripped a shot from the slot off a feed from J.J. Peterka. While the Wings were worried about an injured teammate, officials initiated a video review that confirmed their call on the ice that Jeff Skinner’s shot entered the net in a legal fashion during a Buffalo power play, at 11:21.
It looked like there would be injury added to the insult when Moritz Seider was on the ice appearing to be in severe pain after getting hit in the leg by a puck midway through the game. Seider was able to get up but he was helped off the ice by teammates and went to the locker room. It turned out to be a stinger, and Seider returned during the second period and was out on a power play. He hasn’t missed a game since suiting up for season opener in 2021-22, and has established himself as their No. 1 defenseman, used on both special teams and in all key situations.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.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.
Next up: Golden Knights
Matchup: Red Wings (11-6-5) vs. Vegas (17-6-1).
Faceoff: 7 p.m. Saturday; Little Caesars Arena, Detroit.
TV/radio: Bally Sports Detroit; WXYT-FM (97.1).