Tatar scores late; Red Wings slip past Sabres

Posted at 4:50 PM, Jan 02, 2016
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian was bearing down on Petr Mrazek late in the third period on Saturday. And the Detroit Red Wings were in danger of giving up the lead for the third time.
But Mrazek kept his position to stop Bogosian's shot with his chest, and Detroit went on to a 4-3 win over the Sabres.
"He's got an ability to seize the moment," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "You don't want to give up the breakaway obviously there at the end to Bogosian, but he made the big save on it."
From a flashy glove save on Evander Kane to several scrums in the crease, Mrazek was busy with 32 saves.
"Try to be the best you can the whole game, not just the beginning," Mrazek said. "When we score that helps the goaltender as well."
Riley Sheahan, Henrik Zetterberg, Brad Richards and Tomas Tatar scored for the Red Wings, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
The last goal helped the most, as Tatar snapped an eight-game run without a goal after he collected a cross-ice pass from Mike Green.
Buffalo's defense gave Tatar room to stick-handle into the slot, where his wrist shot fooled Sabres goaltender Chad Johnson with 2:50 left in the third period.
"Now hopefully the confidence is back on the stick," Tatar said.
Rookie Jack Eichel scored twice and Sam Reinhart also scored for Buffalo, which has lost four in a row.
Detroit held 2-0 and 3-2 leads, and was outshot 35-23 by the Sabres.
Kane put a shot off the right post on a late 2-on-1 break, before Tatar made it 4-3 on Detroit's counterattack.
"It's a tough one to swallow," Eichel said. "You think you play a good game, then they score with three minutes left."
Pressure in Detroit's end got the Sabres their first power play when Darren Helm was whistled for hooking at 9:00 of the first period. Both Brian Gionta and Johan Larsson had in-tight chances to put Buffalo ahead, but Mrazek held the puck for a whistle.
Soon after, Jamie McGinn picked Mrazek's clearing attempt off the right board, but couldn't beat Mrazek.
At the other end, Detroit took the lead because of Sheahan.
Sheahan carried the puck down the left of the ice on a 2-on-1 break, and slid a pass past a sliding Mike Weber. Brad Richards snapped a one-time shot past Johnson to make it 1-0 at 12:59 of the first.
Sheahan finished with a goal and assist.
"It just gets your confidence going when you can contribute on the score sheet," Sheahan said. "It's huge."
After a quiet start to the second period, Gionta navigated around the check of Green to test Mrazek.
Sheahan then increased Detroit's lead to 2-0 by deflecting Green's wrist shot past Johnson at 7:59 of the second.
Mrazek was back at it on the next rush, making a flashy glove save on Kane's hard shot from the slot.
"He saved us tonight," Zetterberg said. "There were some key moments and some big saves, and it makes it easier for us to play defense."
Eichel put Buffalo on the board when he caught Mrazek leaning left to see around McGinn's screen and put a wrist shot far side for his 12th goal of the season at 14:26 of the second.
And the rookie star tied it on a breakaway. Pavel Datsyuk lost his footing, and Eichel got Mrazek to commit before pushing the puck off the post, off the goalie, and in to make it 2-2 at 17:27 of the second.
Zetterberg drifted into the slot to slap a big rebound past Johnson 2:27 into the third to restore Detroit's lead.
Green took two penalties in just over two minutes to give Buffalo a pair of chances to tie the game, and Reinhart converted Rasmus Ristolainen's rebound to tie it at 3.
NOTES: Sabres center Tyler Ennis missed his second straight game with an upper body injury. ... Buffalo hosts Florida on Tuesday night, while Detroit plays the second game of its six-game road trip on Monday in New Jersey.