Apr 4, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT
The Detroit Red Wings’ 3-0 lead slipped to 3-2, but they managed to hold on to beat the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
In the process, Detroit is now on a four-game winning streak, beefing up their lead on the East’s top wild card spot to three standings points.
Pavel Datsyuk made his return to the lineup, and while he was dominant in the faceoff circle (11-2), the returning veteran was unable to register a point. Daniel Alfredsson was able to shine offensively, however, collecting the game-winning goal and an assist.
The youngsters managed to keep the good times going in their own right, with Tomas Jurco also finding the net. (Buffalo was able to hold Gustavv Nyquist off the scoreboard, however.)
"I think the pressure is a great thing…pressure means you've got an opportunity." – Mike Babcock—
Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 05, 2014
It was a positive night for the Red Wings overall, as second wild card team Columbus saw a chance to get at least one point slip away thanks to a stunning late Chicago goal. While the Toronto Maple Leafs remained idle (and gained a little optimism thanks to Columbus’ stumbles), the New Jersey Devils took the 10th spot and send the Washington Capitals down to 11th in the process.
In short, Detroit, Toronto and New Jersey were Friday’s big winners while Washington and Columbus slipped. Here’s a look at how the East playoff picture appears following tonight’s relevant games (including Montreal storming back against Ottawa):
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year deal 2
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal 54
- Subban not eager to discuss contract talks 33
- Leafs re-sign Reimer — two years, $4.6 million 22
- Gorges still can’t explain falling out of favor in Montreal 13
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 10
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 7
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 31
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 45
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 39
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)
- Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off (54)
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (54)