The losing streak reaches 7 in a row. Of all those losses, this felt like the Red Wings best, most complete effort. Yet, their better play was not rewarded, being shutout by Linus Ullmark and the Buffalo Sabres. A disappointing feeling, this team is desperate for a win.
The Sabres, who sit atop of the Eastern Conference standings, managed to convert late in the game and walked away with a 2-0 victory.
Thoughts and Highlights
- Despite still having a goose egg in the goal column, Andreas Athanasiou is still playing an unselfish brand of hockey, which you have to love. On one particular play in the first period, Athanasiou had a point blank chance from the slot. Instead of taking the shot, Athanasiou demonstrated patience by waiting a split second for setup Trevor Daley for a wide open net. Unfortunately, Daley’s shot sailed high over the open cage, but you have to love Double-A playing a team-first game, even though he still doesn’t have a goal.
- All season, Val Filppula has played a heavy pass-first game. Still without a goal, the returning Red Wing had his two best opportunities at geno. The first coming on a breakaway that stalled at the goal-line. The second came on an odd man rush, in which he opted to pass instead of take a point blank. His pass was intercepted and Buffalo escaped without conceding a shot.
- The coaching staff switched up the powerplay groupings. The opening unit featured Givani Smith at net front and Filppula in the slot. Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi were moved to the second unit, in what was a strategic move to get Larkin more involved on the man-advantage.
- Smith played his NHL debut and you can mark it up as a good one. He was noticeable download and brought a much needed physical presence. He played a little over 11 minutes, and somewhat intersting, fellow youngster Evgeny Svechnikov only played 7 minutes.
- The Sabres connected on both of their goals in the third period. Detroit had a late powerplay with the net empty no was unable to score.
- Larkin was particularly hard on himself after the game. He felt he hasn’t been contributing enough, offensively or defensively “If you want to point fingers, point it right at me” Larkin said.
Gif of the Game
The Red Wings put in one of their better performances of the season, and yet got shutout for the first time.
Motor City MVP
I thought Cholowski played the best game of his pro career. He’s looking more and more comfortable each game. He’s leading the breakout with his feet and moving pucks out efficiently. In the offensive zone he was slapping one-timers on net from the blue-line, a breath of fresh, considering the Red Wings blue-line is so hesitant to put rubber on net from up top.