Bertuzzi, Nedeljkovic lead Red Wings past Sabres 4-0
DETROIT (AP) — Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists, Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 22 shots for his fourth career shutout and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 Saturday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
Rookie Lucas Raymond had his first goal since Dec. 1, and Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen also scored for Detroit which was 0-2-2 during its skid and won for just the second time in eight games. Dylan Larkin had two assists.
Nedeljkovic recorded three shutouts with Carolina last season but this was his first in a Detroit uniform.
“It was big for him to finally get a shutout this year, because he’s been great for us and he’s kept us in so many games, but the other team always seems to get one (goal),” Bertuzzi said.
Aaron Dell had 35 saves for the Sabres, who are 0-3 against the Red Wings this season. Buffalo, which closes out the season against the Red Wings on Monday, was blanked for the third time this season.
“It was lethargic. You have to find something there, you have to dig and fight harder than that,” Buffalo coach Tony Granato said. “I said the guys after, you’ve got to look in the mirror. It should be extremely disappointing to everybody in that room.”
Bertuzzi got Detroit on the scoreboard 8:57 into the game. He knocked in the rebound of a shot by Larkin on a power play for his 18th goal of the season and ninth goal in 10 games.
Fabbri made it 2-0 with 51 seconds remaining in the period during the tail end of a four-minute power play. Fabbri one-timed a backhanded pass from Bertuzzi in front of the net for his 10th.
“They scored two on the power play in the first period and they got some momentum from that but we need to clean that up, we need to be better on the kill and help our goalies out there,” Sabres defenseman Robert Hagg said. “He (Dell) is probably the only guy who can feel good about himself after this game. We play again in 48 hours and we better be ready.”
Detroit was shut out by Winnipeg in its previous outing.
“This was a big win, especially after getting shut out at home last time,” Bertuzzi said. “We needed to stop the losing streak, but now we’ve got to come out in the next game and back this up.”
The Red Wings killed off three penalties in the second period to retain the two-goal advantage.
Raymond ended a 14-game goal drought when he scored 13 seconds into the third off a feed from Larkin. It was his 11th.
“I think the most important thing is he doesn’t have to answer all your questions about it,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “That’s one thing about this league - you are always reminded about things like that, even when you shouldn’t be worried about it. He’s been playing good hockey and he’s been helping us win games, but it certainly feels better to score.”
Rasmussen scored with 7:36 remaining after coming out of the penalty box for his fourth.
NOTES: Buffalo forward Zemgus Girgensons sat out due to an undisclosed injury. ... Larkin has eight 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in 23 career games against Buffalo. ... Detroit defenseman Filip Hronek recorded his 100th career point with an assist on Rasmussen’s goal. ... The Red Wings had a season-high 22 shots on goal in the first period. ... Tage Thompson, who leads the Sabres in points, exited COVID-19 protocols and played for the first time in three games.
The teams will complete the home-and-home set at Buffalo on Monday.
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