Raymond scores early in OT, Red Wings beat Sabres 3-2
DETROIT — Lucas Raymond scored 26 seconds into overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
Dylan Larkin and Filip Hronek assisted on Raymond’s goal, which came shortly after Buffalo forced the extra session with a goal late in the third period.
“Our line was all over it tonight,” Larkin said. “He got one when it counted.”
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said of Raymond: “He’s got talent and confidence for sure. He’s got a really good shot.”
Pius Suter and Carter Rowney scored in regulation for Detroit, which won its second straight. Alex Nedeljkovic finished with 26 saves.
Dylan Cozens and Jeff Skinner scored for Buffalo. Dustin Tokarski made 38 saves.
Sabres coach Don Granato said: “Toker did a great job of keeping us in the game – he was the reason we were able to get a point out of here.”
Skinner added: “Tok was great and we had to get some big penalty kills. But we didn’t get it done in overtime. It was good to get a point.”
The Sabres pulled Tokarski with 1:52 remaining in the third period and Skinner scored his sixth goal of the season 15 seconds later, tying the game at 2-all. Skinner, stationed to the left Nedeljkovic, tipped a slap shot from center Cody Eakin into the net.
“When you are in front on a 6-on-5, you are just staying loose and hoping for a loose puck or a deflection,” Skinner said. “Luckily, I was able to get my stick on that shot and get it over the goalie.”
Nedeljkovic blanked the Sabres for a stretch of 33 minutes. He was coming off a 35-save effort against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night in which he allowed two goals.
Nedeljkovic, from Parma, Ohio, is technically a rookie and eligible for the Calder Trophy. He entered the game with a 2.24 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. He shares the position with veteran Thomas Greiss (2.66, .914), but has made three consecutive starts.
“He’s earned the right to get the starts,” Blashill said. “But we’re going to need both guys. He’s just in a groove.”
Larkin added on Nedeljkovic: “He’s made some incredible saves. It’s been a great confidence boost to know he’s going to be there every night.”
The Red Wings scored twice in a span of 1:19 midway through the second period to take a 2-1.
After Rowney scored his second at 9:56 of the second, Swiss center Pius Suter got the go-ahead goal at 11:15, sending a backhand shot of a rebound past Tokarski. Defensemen Givani Smith and Moritz Seider assisted.
It was the 12th assist of the season for Seider, who tied Raymond, a first-line forward with nine goals, for the assist lead among rookies.
Rowney was credited with the goal that made it 1-1 at 9:56 after a review. Filip Zadina was originally given the goal. Assists went to Sam Gagner and defenseman Gustav Lindstrom.
The Sabres scored at 5:05 of the second period. Cozens picked up the goal and Brett Murray and Kyle Okposo assisted.
Detroit had more goal-scoring chances in the scoreless first period, outshooting Buffalo 11-7.
The Red Wings improved to 7-2-2 at home.
“Part of it (winning) is the juice that the crowd gives us,” Blashill said. “The energy in this building has been great.”
MICHIGAN FOOTBALL REACTION:
Larkin, who played one season at the University of Michigan, wore a blue hat with a maize Block M to the post-game interview session, and said, “It’s a great day for sports in general. What a great day today.”
Larkin said he had trouble sleeping Friday night in anticipation of the No. 6 Wolverines playing the No. 2 Ohio State in Ann Arbor. But he didn’t let the game break his pregame nap regimen.
“I went down early in the third quarter,” Larkin said after Michigan’s 42-27 win. “With two minutes left, I woke up. I was pumped up.”
Sabres: Host Seattle Kraken tonight.
Red Wings: Visit Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.