DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings experienced a lull after a fast start but got the two points they needed.
Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an assist and Detroit held off the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Friday night for the Red Wings' fourth consecutive win.
Detroit led 3-0 after the first period.
"To me, I thought we started really good, we were all over them," said Red Wings' coach Mike Babcock, who got his 413th win for Detroit, which ties him for the all-time franchise record with Jack Adams.
"I thought suddenly we had some skill and suddenly we were dangling around with the puck and now we had the cute-itis going and then we didn't want to shoot it in the net," he said. "We wanted to pass it one more time and the next thing you know it's game on instead of just doing things simple and hard and right."
Darren Helm and Tomas Jurco also scored for Detroit, which is in the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the eighth-place Columbus Blue Jackets. Danny DeKeyser had two assists and Jimmy Howard made 21 saves.
Jamie McBain scored and Nicolas Deslauriers got his first career goal for Buffalo, which has the NHL's worst record. Matt Hackett stopped 28 shots.
"We had nothing to lose. Got the day off tomorrow. Just tried to leave it all on the ice . After the tough start," McBain said.
The Sabres lost in St. Louis 2-1 on Thursday night and didn't get to their hotel in Detroit until 4 a.m. Friday morning.
"We talked about having excuses. We could've had a real good one," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said. "I think tired is a state of mind. We got in at four this morning and slept in. It wasn't that short of a night."
Deslauriers pulled the Sabres within one at 6:40 of the third period, sending in a loose puck from the slot.
"Yeah, I got a little more nervous at the end there. They were all over us and we all know we need those points," Jurco said. "It got a little more nervous towards the end but I think we handled it pretty well."