Lucas Raymond gives Detroit Red Wings 2nd straight win with OT goal vs. Buffalo, 3-2


The Detroit Red Wings have the answer when faced with overtime against the Buffalo Sabres: Get the puck to a rookie.

Lucas Raymond put away a well-earned 3-2 victory before a lively crowd Saturday at Little Caesars Arena, beating the Sabres for the second time this month.

It was one of the Wings’ more complete games of the season, and their solid play at both ends only went past regulation because Dustin Tokarski made 38 saves in regulation.

“I thought we deserved to win,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I think it was a game where we could have been up by a couple. We had the opportunities. I didn’t think we gave up a whole bunch defensively, so that’s a good thing for us.”

Raymond scored 26 seconds into overtime, on assists from Dylan Larkin and Filip Hronek, to improve the Wings’ record to 10-9-3. Alex Nedeljkovic made 26 saves in his third straight start.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dustin Tokarski (31) deflects a shot by Detroit Red Wings center Pius Suter (24) with Sabres defenseman Colin Miller (33) helping defend the goal during the first period Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Detroit.Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dustin Tokarski (31) deflects a shot by Detroit Red Wings center Pius Suter (24) with Sabres defenseman Colin Miller (33) helping defend the goal during the first period Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Detroit.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Dustin Tokarski (31) deflects a shot by Detroit Red Wings center Pius Suter (24) with Sabres defenseman Colin Miller (33) helping defend the goal during the first period Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Detroit.

The 7-2-2 home record prompted a thank you to fans who braved snowy roads to come to the game.

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“Part of is the juice that the crowd gives us,” Blashill said. “I think they’ve been awesome. I know that the roads weren’t great and so it’s hard maybe for everybody to get down here, but I thought the crowd was great. The energy in this building has been great. I think that’s a huge reason why we’re 7-2-2.”

Larkin said the “atmosphere has been great. We just get excited to be here. It was a long year without fans and we missed them a ton. To have them back, some of the loudest moments I have heard since it opened have happened this year. We have to keep going to make sure there’s louder moments.”

Carter Rowney and Pius Suter scored for the Wings 1:19 apart in the second period, both showing the value of being at the net. Dylan Cozens had given Buffalo the lead at 5:05 when he redirected Brett Murray’s shot. Jeff Skinner scored with 1:33 to play in the third period, with the Sabres’ gamble of pulling their goalie paying off.

Detroit Red Wings center Sam Gagner (89) passes the puck against Buffalo Sabres defenseman Colin Miller (33) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Detroit.Detroit Red Wings center Sam Gagner (89) passes the puck against Buffalo Sabres defenseman Colin Miller (33) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Detroit.

Detroit Red Wings center Sam Gagner (89) passes the puck against Buffalo Sabres defenseman Colin Miller (33) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Detroit.

When the teams met Nov. 6 in Buffalo, it was rookie defenseman Moritz Seider who got the job done, earning his first NHL goal when he scored in overtime.

The Wings were without Danny DeKeyser (COVID protocol) and forward Joe Veleno (upper body).

Smith moves up

Seeking a physical and net-front presence on the second line, Givani Smith was moved up to play with Suter and Robby Fabbri to start the game. Smith came into the season guaranteed a spot on the roster because he’s no longer waiver-exempt, but he hasn’t been the effective grinder from past spot appearances. Smith’s physicality seemed contained by a fear of ending up in the penalty box. He looked more like his previously powerful self Saturday, drawing cheers from fans with a big hit on Henrik Jokiharju and picking up an assist on Suter’s goal.

Zadina celebrates birthday

Smith’s promotion meant Filip Zadina, who celebrated his 22nd birthday, started the game on the fourth line, with Rowney and Sam Gagner. Zadina was part of the traffic at the net on Rowney’s goal, and originally credited for the goal before replays said otherwise. Zadina had multiple good chances, trying his one-timer during one power play, and opting to hold onto the puck on the second power play, trying instead to fire a wrist shot at the goalie.

Bertuzzi a beast

Tyler Bertuzzi began the game with a chance from the slot and was denied on another attempt during a power play. He was noticeably active with the puck, buzzing around the net and forcing saves from Tokarski. During the second-period power play, Lucas Raymond smartly held the puck until he had a lane to get it on net, where Bertuzzi got the puck on his stick — he had a near-empty net, but the puck bounced along the goal line and past the other post.

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 book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings top Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, in OT on Lucas Raymond goal

Source: Yahoo Sports

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