Quick Hits: Sabres 4, Red Wings 3 - The Buffalo News
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Quick Hits: Sabres 4, Red Wings 3

DETROIT -- Evander Kane book-ended the game's first goal with the tie-breaking tally in the third period Tuesday night, lifting the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Joe Louis Arena that allowed coach Dan Bylsma to grab a slice of NHL history.

The win was the 300th of Bylsma's NHL career as the Sabres snapped an 0-2-2 skid. Bylsma becomes the 47th coach in NHL history to record 300 regular-season wins. By getting there in his 517th game, Bylsma is the third-fastest in history to hit 300, behind only Bruce Boudreau (496 games) and Todd McLellan (515).

"It's a milestone trying to win hockey games in this league," said Bylsma, who won his Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh here in 2009. "Three hundred is a nice one to have but it's also just in the pile of games we need to win. We need to keep winning. It's nice to get it. I've had a couple nice wins here in Detroit. Add this one as memorable."

"That's awesome," added center Jack Eichel. "It's a great milestone for a coach and I'm very happy for him to get his 300th. It's pretty cool he won his 300th game in the same rink he won a Stanley Cup in."

Red-hot Kane: After entering December with no goals and not scoring in his first 12 games of the season, Kane has eight goals in his last 10 games. The game-winner came at 8:29 of the third period, with Kane taking a perfect pass from Brian Gionta and streaking in alone on Wings goalie Petr Mrazek. Kane's shot hit Mrazek in the left shoulder but had enough momentum to carry into the net.

"Once he had the puck, I saw him take a look over," Kane said of Gionta, who had two assists. "He obviously knew I wanted the puck and he made a great pass to get it to me."

"For a number of games he's playing with a ton of speed, playing fast, playing physical," Bylsma said. "That's the way he needs to play for us to have success."

Lehner survives: Goaltender Robin Lehner made 40 saves as the Sabres were outshot, 43-22. He made 19 stops in the third period as Buffalo was outshot, 20-4. The Red Wings outattempted Buffalo, 73-43.

"We were up by one and we were battling," Lehner said. "They came at us. The 'D' and I worked hard to get the win."

Scary stick: Lehner was down and out for a couple minutes in the period after taking an inadvertent stick to the net from teammate Zach Bogosian. Lehner met reporters after the game sporting a large welt on the neck.

"I couldn't breathe for a little bit and it was a little tough swallowing but it went away," Lehner said. "It's uncomfortable when you can't catch your breath."

Out of town: The Sabres pulled within six points of Boston, a 4-3 loser at Columbus, for the final Atlantic Division playoff spot. Buffalo continues to have three games in hand.

Burned by an old friend: The Sabres took a 3-2 lead into the third period but former Buffalo winger Thomas Vanek got Detroit even on a power-play goal at 6:32 as he stole a clearing attempt by Justin Falk and slammed home a quick snapshot past Lehner. The goal broke the Red Wings' 0-for-27 slide on the power play over a seven-game stretch.

Striking first for once: The Sabres opened the scoring at 7:12 of the first period as Kane banged home a rebound of his own wraparound attempt into the top corner of the net over Mrazek. It snapped Buffalo's string of allowing the first goal in seven straight games.

Striking second too: The Sabres grabbed a 2-0 lead through the first period as Sam Reinhart notched a power-play goal at 15:54, deflecting home a shot from the right point by Rasmus Ristolainen.

Quick strikes: The teams combined for three goals in a span of 1 minute, 28 seconds late in the second period, as Buffalo emerged with a 3-2 lead through 40 minutes. The highlight came when Eichel scored just 22 seconds after a tally by Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg. Eichel got his sixth of the season with a spectacular individual effort as he went wide on Vanek and beat Mrazek with a flip shot that he roofed into the top middle of the net.

"I knew right away it was Vanek there," Eichel said. "Sometimes you get a forward and they're uncomfortable in that situation, so I tried to use my speed, go to the net and luckily I got a goal."

Another Wings response: Only 66 seconds after Eichel scored, Detroit's Drew Miller banged home a loose puck at 16:14 to get the Wings back within one.

Up next: The Sabres returned home immediately after the game and will practice Wednesday in KeyBank Center. They open a home-and-home series with Boston there Thursday night before meeting the Bruins again Saturday afternoon in TD Garden in their final game of 2016.

email: mharrington@buffnews.com

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