DETROIT (Ticker) — A pressure-packed third period finally got
the better of Ryan Miller, as the Detroit Red Wings snapped a
tie and extended their winning streak in the process.
Mikael Samuelsson beat Miller for the go-ahead goal with 2:34
left in the third as the Red Wings posted their sixth straight
win Saturday, a 3-1 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres.
Samuelsson also registered an assist, Jiri Hudler scored a goal
and set up another and Marian Hossa added an insurance tally
with 95 seconds remaining for Detroit.
“I thought we played well,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
“We didn’t give up much, and (Ty) Conklin was good when he
needed to be. Their team played well and Miller was
outstanding. We knew he would be. It just took us a while to
get to him, but our guys stayed determined.”
Conklin made 21 saves in improving to 6-0-0 lifetime against the
Sabres, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
The Red Wings held a 48-22 edge in shots, including a 23-12
advantage in the final session. But Miller was up to the task
for much of the third as Buffalo appeared as if it might escape
Detroit with at least one point.
However, Samuelsson lifted the rebound of a shot by Hudler from
along the right wing boards over the outstretched arms of Miller
to put Detroit ahead, 2-1.
“For the most part, we got what we wanted,” Miller said. “They
were getting a lot of shots but weren’t getting second-chance
scoring opportunities. Right up until the end, I thought we
were going to come through and get a win.”
“We were hoping to wear (Miller) down,” Babcock said. “We
thought if we stayed at their net, we’d get our opportunities.
He made some great saves early, but we stayed patient and were
able to get the win.”
Just 59 seconds later, Hossa took a feed from Henrik Zetterberg
and blasted a shot from between the faceoff circles that
squeezed past Miller and trickled over the goal line for a
“That’s the best team we’ve played this season,” Buffalo coach
Lindy Ruff said. “They’ve got great speed, they move the puck
around well and they’re patient. They’ll keep working until
they get that chance that pays off in a goal.”
Miller, who made 45 saves, was under constant pressure for the
second straight game. The fifth-year netminder stopped 44 shots
Friday in a 2-1 shootout victory over the New York Rangers.
Conklin was not tested nearly as much, but after allowing a goal
by Derek Roy 5:03 into the first period, he managed to keep the
Sabres off the board.
“They’re tough,” Conklin said. “Ryan gave them a good chance to
win. He made some big saves. The longer games like that stay
close and we’re controlling the play, we’re going to break
through. We were good tonight.”
Detroit tied the game at 1-1 with three minutes left in the
middle session on Hudler’s career-high 16th goal of the season.
The Czech took a drop pass from defenseman Brett Lebda and
one-timed a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past