For the second straight game, the Buffalo Sabres killed off a four-minute high sticking penalty in the third period. For the second straight game, they gave up a goal in 5-on-5 play less than a minute later. No surprise they've lost both games.
Detroit rookie Dylan Larkin broke up a scoreless duel on a goal with 7:59 to play as the Red Wings went on to beat Buffalo, 3-0, Friday night before 18,601 in First Niagara Center despite some brilliant work by Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner.
Luke Glendening's shot went wide to Lehner's left but Larkin was curling around the net, grabbed the puck just above the goal line and banked it home off Lehner's right leg for his 15th goal of the season. That's one shy of the NHL lead held by Chicago's Artemi Panarin and one more than Sabres top draft pick Jack Eichel.
The goal came 42 seconds after Marcus Foligno was nailed for a double minor. It was a similar situation in Wednesday's 2-1 loss at Colorado, as Alex Tanguay scored 32 seconds after Evander Kane left the box after serving four minutes.
In the nets: Lehner, starting in back-to-back games for the first time as a Sabre, made 42 saves as the Wings outshot Buffalo, 45-19. He stopped all 27 shots he faced over the first two periods -- including 15 in the second. Petr Mrazek stopped 19 for Detroit for his third shutout of the year. Mrazek had an easy third as Detroit outshot Buffalo, 18-2.
Killers against penalties: The Sabres continued their strong work against opposing power plays by killing off all four of Detroit's man-advantage situations. That makes Buffalo 19 for 19 over the last six games and 22 for 23 over the last nine.
Insurance goals: Henrik Zetterberg took a wild cross-ice pass from Larkin and curled a backhander past Lehner with 2:51 left to put the visitors up by two. The point was the 818th of Zetterberg's career, snapping a tie with former Winnipeg star Thomas Steen (1981-95) for ninth in NHL history among Swedish players. Glendening hit an empty net with 48.8 seconds left.
Season series: The Sabres fell to 1-2-1 against the Red Wings, with one meeting left on March 28 in Detroit. They have not posted two wins in a season over the Wings was in 1989-90 -- the last year Detroit did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Admittedly, the Wings were in the Western Conference for many years until coming back to the East in 2013. The Sabres' 2-1 win Dec. 14 in Joe Louis Arena ended Detroit's 13-game point streak against the Sabres.
Long break at home: The game was Buffalo's final one before the NHL All-Star break. The Sabres don't play again downtown until hosting Boston on Feb. 4 in the opener of a home-and-home series.
Sick bay: The Sabres increased their man-games lost total to 215, second in the NHL, as Josh Gorges and Sam Reinhart (both upper body) joined the injured Zemgus Girgensons, Nicolas Deslauriers, Tyler Ennis and Cody McCormick on the sidelines.
Up Next: The Sabres will be off on Saturday and then practice Sunday before heading to New York to meet the Rangers Monday night in Madison Square Garden. They play Tuesday in Ottawa, the final game before the All-Star break.