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New uniform, same results for Sabres

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- Welcome once again into the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box, high atop ice level at First Niagara Center. The Buffalo Sabres are getting set for an Atlantic Division mathcup with the Detroit Red Wings. It has been three days since the blue and gold dropped a 4-1 decision to Philadelphia, and the team has had one practice since then.

After an off day Friday Alexander Sulzer joined the Sabres on the ice at Bud Bakewell Ice Rink as the team game planned for Detroit. The veteran was recalled from Rochester after Cody McCormick was placed on injured reserve with what head coach Ted Nolan called an upper body injury. Sulzer was paired with fellow German born NHLer Christian Ehrhoff. Mark Pysyk was also back in the rotation along the blue line with Brayden McNabb. For more from the skate, including tonight's scratches, click here for my practice recap.

Feel free to add your comments throughout the game, as I will throw my two cents into the mix in between scoring plays. You can also get more by following Brian Koziol and myself on Twitter: @BrianWGR and @PatWGR.

First Period

18:19 - We are underway and the looks on the ice could not be of any more contrast. The Red Wings are in their classic uniforms, while the Sabres are debuting their infamous "turd burger" jerseys. 

12:13 - SABRES GOAL. This was a very ho hum first period until Drew Stafford fed a nice pass down low to Cody Hodgson, and the center beats Jonas Gustavsson for the goal. The Detroit net minder sprawled out and Hodgson used some good stick handling for the score. 1-0 BUF.

9:20 - Detroit may lead in the shots on goal category, but they have not had a real good scoring chance yet. Buffalo has had two or so, and they converted on one of them.

6:58 - And Hodgson takes the first penalty of the game, and now his teammates have to kill off two minutes or less of his holding minor.

4:33 - Gustavsson does not look sharp for Detroit tonight. Luke Adam shoveled the puck to the net and nearly had the puck go in off of the post. The backup goaltender was able to throw his glove down for the cover, but that was anything but routine.

2:38 - Sulzer and Ehrhoff have seen plenty of ice time this period, and I think the chemistry is still there. Those two had instant success together in the spring of 2012, and it seems to have picked up today.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: 7:47 - Cody Hodgson (8) (Drew Stafford)
DET: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: 11:58 - Drew Stafford (2 min., holding)
DET: none

Shots on Goal

BUF - 6, DET - 14

Second Period

19:30 - RED WINGS GOAL. Darren Helm unleahses a very nice backhand shot over Ryan Miller to tie this game at 1 apiece. It was the first shot of the period by either team. 1-1 tie.

14:14 - Detroit has controlled the play so far this period. Helm led a three-on-one play into the Buffalo zone. It did not result in a good scoring chance, but could have.

10:21 - Steve Ott will have a penalty shot after being hooked on the breakaway.

10:21 - The chance was stopped by Gustavsson as Ott tried the same move each time in on goal but could not get anything on the chance.

8:09 - Ott is visibly frustrated after the most recent chance, throwing his arms up in the air after the puck went out to center ice. The Sabres are not crating much and you can tell.

2:22 - Brayden McNabb with a very nice hit in his own zone behind the net. That is his game. He needs to be physical and stand players up to be successful and stay up in the NHL.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: none
DET: 0:30 - Darren Helm (5) (Daniel Alfredsson, Justin Abdelkader)

Penalty Summary

BUF: none
DET: none

Shots on Goal

BUF - 9 (15), DET - 8 (22)

Third Period

17:02 - Buffalo gets its first power play of the night, and is not able to convert. Stafford may have had the best chance with a drag through the slot and getting off a good shot on goal. Gustavsson shouldered it into the far corner and out of harm's way.

13:30 - Ehrhoff to the box for tripping. SInce the first period he has been largely invisble.

11:11 - Buffalo is able to kill off the minor, but it was anything but easy. The Red Wings had a good cycle going and had two or three quality chances to take the lead on the man advantage. Miller and the Sabres weathered the storm, and are now back to even strength.

8:17 - RED WINGS GOAL. Henrik Zetterberg does it himself with Tyler Myers in the penalty box and gives Detroit their first lead of the night. The captain put the puck on Johan Franzen's stick and it gets over Miller for the goal. 2-1 DET.

4:47 - Buffalo will have a late chance here as Stephen Weiss is headed to the box for tripping McNabb. Not going to have many more chances like this tonight.

1:31 - Miller has been pulled in favor of the extra attacker for Buffalo.

:48.2 - RED WINGS GOAL. That should do it. Daniel Alfredsson gets the empty net goal to salt away this game. 3-1 DET.

End of Game

Detroit 3, Buffalo 1

Goal Summary

BUF: none
DET: 11:43 - Johan Franzen (6) PPG (Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall). 19:11 - Daniel Alfredsson (4) ENG (Johan Franzen).

Penalty Summary

BUF: 6:30 - Christian Ehrhoff (2 min., hooking). 11:13 - Tyler Myers (2 min., cross checking).
DET: 0:47 - Kyle Quincy (2 min., hooking). 15:13 - Stephen Weiss (2 min., cross checking).

Shots on Goal

BUF - 7 (22), DET - 12 (34)

Final Thoughts

I am not sure which team had two days off, and which one played their third game in four nights. Maybe Buffalo had the better of the play through the first forty minutes, but definitely not the final twenty. A couple of bad penalties by the blue and gold helped doom them, and send the home fans home disappointed once again. Next up is a Thanksgving-eve tilt with the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. Pregame coverage along the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550 starts at six o'clock with Schopp and the Bulldog. The puck drops after 7 p.m.

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