O'Reilly, Larsson rally Sabres to 2-1 win over Red Wings
Dec. 15, 2015
DETROIT (AP) — Any team that can keep it close against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period has a chance.
Ryan O'Reilly and Johan Larsson scored 61 seconds apart late in the third, rallying the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 victory over Detroit on Monday night.
The Red Wings have blown third-period leads in nine of their last 14 games.
"I think it shows quite a bit of character on our part for sticking with it," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.
O'Reilly tied it 1-all at 15:46 when his deflected shot beat goalie Petr Mrazek between the legs. Larsson scored the winner with 3:13 remaining, his first goal in 30 games since April 6 last season against Carolina.
"Just going to the front of the net and maybe get a rebound and it comes right to my stick," Larsson said. "Really good to get that goal."
Despite its third-period lapses, Detroit had earned at least one point in 13 consecutive games.
"We've been playing a little bit sloppier lately," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "So maybe this was the little wake-up call here. Just got to get back to playing the right way for 60 minutes."
Buffalo snapped an eight-game winless streak in Detroit with its first victory there since Oct. 13, 2006.
After a scoreless first period, the Red Wings got the game's first goal at 4:01 of the second. Pavel Datsyuk found Brad Richards in the right circle and he beat goalie Chad Johnson glove side.
"I was just kind of waiting in the weeds there, hoping they left me open and he kind of waited until they all went to him," Richards said. "It's good to be that close and get a wide-open look."
In 22 career games against the Sabres, Datsyuk has nine goals and 13 assists.
Tomas Jurco had a chance to give the Red Wings a two-goal lead when he was awarded a penalty shot at 14:56 of the second, but Johnson made a glove save.
"I don't know what the percentage is on penalty shots, it's not extraordinarily high," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "You feel like you should score but that's not the way it really goes lots of times. He did what he could and made the move and it didn't go in."
Mrazek made 28 saves while Johnson had 32.
O'Reilly has a point in eight straight games, tying his career high, with four goals and seven assists during that span.
The Red Wings pulled Mrazek and had an opportunity with 10 seconds left and the extra skater, but Johnson made a diving save to stop Gustav Nyquist from tying the game.
"(Johnson) made a desperation move and then, what a save," Bylsma said.
NOTES: Red Wings defenseman Mike Green played in his 600th career game. The Red Wings remain one win shy of their 800th at Joe Louis Arena. ... Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen remains the only NHL player with an average ice time over 20 minutes with no penalty minutes. ... Ristolainen, who assisted on Buffalo's first goal, has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in his last 18 games.
This story has been corrected to reflect postgame scoring change to Johnson's save total.