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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

WINGS POSTGAME: Bid for back-to-back wins in Buffalo comes up short

The Red Wings enjoyed a 4-3 week against the Sabres last week. That was not the case today, as the Red Wings dropped tonight’s contest 3-2. It’s unfortunate too because the team put together a valiant effort. Detroit out shot Buffalo 29-25, many of which came from high-danger areas in the slot. Carter Hutton played a solid game and Buffalo took advantage.

On the bright side, Anthony Mantha is back. Two assist night for the Frenchman.

Thoughts and Highlights

  • Darren Helm got the ball rolling early — 27 seconds in, actually. Anthony Mantha did most of the heavy lifting but Helm generated the goal.

  • Unfortunately, the Wings failed to capitalize on the quick start. Buffalo responded less than a minute later.
  • There was a major injury scare at the end of the first period. Brendan Perlini took a skate to the face and had to leave the game. Perlini suffered a deep laceration in his nose and needed 28 stitches from the medical staff in the building. Video of the accident can be viewed here. Note that the video may be slightly graphic for some.
  • Following the game Mantha showed clear concern for his injured teammate. A little glimpse into some of the emotions these players have to play through. Hopefully Perlini will be OK moving forward.
  • Helm wasn’t done after his first tally. The veteran forward added another goal in the second period. Mantha once again was the primary creator on the play.

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  • With those two goals Helm has now scored eight goals on the season, surpassing his total from last year (seven goals in 61 games)
  • Buffalo’s second goal had a lot going on. An argument could have been made that Jonathan Bernier’s pad was pushed in to create the goal. Alas, head coach Jeff Blashill opted not to challenge and the goal stood.
  • Either the Sabres are very bad at defending the slot or the Red Wings passing game picked up the slack (or both?). No matter, the Wings generated several chances from the slot. They were unable to convert but you have to like the progress they’ve found.
  • In the final ten minutes the Wings started to up the ante. In need of a goal, Dylan Larkin nearly scored a highlight reel goal to tie the game. He slipped by the Buffalo defense and held off Rasmus Ristolainen to get a grade-A scoring chance (while shorthanded!).

Gif of the Game

Is this the return of Nightmare on Helm Street?

Motor City MVP

Anthony Mantha

The honorable mention here goes to Helm for his two goals, but Mantha is the easy choice. He set up both plays by using his large frame to protect the puck and buy time. Not only that, but he moved his feet all night and didn’t miss a beat. In over 19 minutes of ice time he generated four shots.