On the night that saw his idol’s jersey number raised in Buffalo, Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek stopped 25 of 26 shots to earn the win for the Red Wings.
Longtime Sabre and former Red Wing Dominik Hasek was honored before the game with his Number 39 raised to the First Niagara Center rafters. The Czech Olympic champion was an inspiration for a generation of players from his country, including Mrazek and Buffalo goalie Michal Neuvirth, who stopped 27 of 30 shots in taking the loss.
Darren Helm opened the game’s scoring for Detroit at 9:42 of the first period. On a shorthanded two-on-one with Joakim Andersson, Helm snapped a shot from the right wing over Neuvirth’s stick and into the top corner for a 1-0 lead.
The special teams continued to produce for the Red Wings in the second period. At 7:34 of the middle frame, Gustav Nyqiust knocked home the rebound of a Pavel Datsyuk shot after it bounced off Justin Abdelkader for a power play goal.
Mike Weber‘s first goal of the season cut Detroit’s lead to 2-1 with 6:36 left in the period. After a turnover in the Buffalo zone by Tomas Tatar, crisp passing from Drew Stafford and Brian Flynn got the puck to trailing man Weber for a shot past Mrazek as the Red Wings struggled to recover.
Tatar would make up for the turnover 1:45 later, knocking the rebound of a Kyle Quincey chance under Neuvirth for a 3-1 score in what would be the last goal of the game.
Detroit finished the night one-for-four on the power play while Buffalo went scoreless and allowed a goal in two chances with the man-advantage.
The Red Wings will close out their six-game road trip on Thursday in St. Louis.
The Red Wings announced earlier in the day that starting goalie Jimmy Howard is expected to miss two-to-four weeks with a slight groin tear… Howard, Jonas Gustavsson, Johan Franzen, and Jakub Kindl all remained on injured reserve… Xavier Ouellet and Teemu Pulkkinen remained in the Detroit lineup while Tom McCollum backed up Mrazek… Daniel Cleary, Tomas Jurco (back), and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches.