Behind three first period goals, the Detroit Red Wings dominated the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night to pick up their NHL-leading seventh straight victory. The win keeps them on pace with the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference at 33 points.
Jakub Kindl got the scoring started for the Wings 8:50 into the game on a wrist shot from the left point. Johan Franzen put the Wings up 2-0 about six minutes later on a power play goal. Franzen's goal would ultimately become his NHL-leading fifth game winning goal.
Just over a minute after Franzen lit the lamp, Valtteri Filppula scored after a beautiful backhanded pass from Henrik Zetterberg. Filppula took the pass, skated left, and wristed the puck over Jhonas Enroth's glove for his fifth goal in his last four games. Before Zetterberg was able to slide Filppula the puck, he had to pick Jochen Hecht's pocket and win a battle for the puck just inside the Sabres zone.
Hecht would make up for his turnover later by ruining Jimmy Howard's shutout in the third period. Howard still wound up as the second star of the game, though, as he had 27 stops in his 17th straight start.
The Wings will go for their eighth straight win on Sunday vs. the Avalanche.