Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Daniel Alfredsson posted a goal and an assist as the Detroit Red Wings grabbed a crucial 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
Tomas Jurco and Darren Helm scored, while Jimmy Howard had 21 saves for the Red Wings, who moved three points ahead of Columbus, which lost to Chicago on Friday, for the top wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
"Obviously it was huge for the standings but we still have to get a few more wins here to get in," said Detroit forward Gustav Nyquist. "I feel that every time we win the other teams win too. Everybody lost tonight which is nice to hear but obviously we have to get a few more wins."
Jamie McBain and Nicolas Deslauriers scored for the Sabres, who have lost six of seven. Matt Hackett gave up all three goals on 31 shots.
"We competed, we showed we can play with any team, first place or a great team like Detroit here," said Hackett. "We're going in the right direction, I think."
Detroit scored at 5:47 of the opening period after a shot from the right point went off the backboards and came out front where Helm chipped it in for his 11th of the year.
Skating on the power play, the Red Wings took a 2-0 lead as Danny DeKeyser's shot from the right point was tipped in by Jurco for his seventh of the season.
Just over a minute later, the Red Wings made it a 3-0 contest when Jakub Kindl threw a shot on net from the right point and Alfredsson snapped home the rebound from the left side.
The only goal of the second period went to Buffalo as the team got on the board on the power play courtesy of a wrister from McBain at the left circle that beat Howard to the short-side at 12:28.
Buffalo made it a one-goal game 6:40 into the third thanks to a left circle faceoff win that saw Deslauriers quickly fire it home from the slot for his first NHL goal.
The Sabres, though, were unable to get the equalizer past Howard the rest of the way as Detroit took home a big victory.