Howard powers Red Wings to needed win against Sabres


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Gustav Nyquist scored in regulation and in a shootout to help the Detroit Red Wings snap a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

Thomas Vanek also scored in the shootout and had an assist in regulation for the Red Wings, while Brian Gionta scored in regulation for the Sabres.

Jimmy Howard made 32 saves for the Red Wings, and Robin Lehner made 23 saves for the Sabres

After 36 scoreless minutes, the Red Wings went ahead when Nyquist found the back of the net following a spinning pass from Thomas Vanek. The goal was Nyquist’s team-leading fourth of the season.

Buffalo tied it 1:42 into the third when Gionta stuffed a rebound behind Howard. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill challenged the goal, but it stood as called.

The teams traded scoring chances in the 3-on-3 overtime period. Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen had two scoring opportunities but was twice turned away by Howard.

The Red Wings improved to 3-0 in games decided by a shootout this season.

NOTES: Sabres C Ryan O'Reilly returned after missing five games with an oblique injury. … Sabres C Jack Eichel skated with the team Wednesday for the first time since injuring his ankle in practice on Oct. 12, a day before Buffalo’s season opener. Coach Dan Bylsma did not provide a timetable for his return. … Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula got some good news about their NFL team, the Buffalo Bills. WR Sammy Watkins returned to practice for the first time since going on injured reserve with a foot injury. Buffalo got two of its biggest stars back Wednesday, but which is more important? “Well Sammy Watkins, for me,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said. “As much as I love Jack Eichel, he’s not paying any bills for me. Technically, (Eichel) is paying for somebody else in the organization though, isn’t he? But I think, (with) my season tickets – I’d like to see Eichel play. It’s a great question. Obviously, Sammy is such a great talent for us, but man the Sabres need scoring. Tough call.” … Red Wings F Tomas Jurco was assigned to Grand Rapids, Detroit’s AHL affiliate, for conditioning. He’s missed every game this season while recovering from offseason back surgery but is inching closer to a return.


Red Wings: Play at New Jersey on Friday night.

Sabres: Play at Washington on Friday night.