Dylan Larkin took a stick to the face before taking over for the Detroit Red Wings.
With gauze tape stuffed in his left nostril and a fat lip, Larkin had a goal and assist late in the third period to lead the Red Wings in a 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
Petr Mrazek made 19 saves in earning his third shutout of the season, and Henrik Zetterberg and Luke Glendening also scored for the Red Wings, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Detroit’s All-Star rookie scored the winner with 7:59 remaining, circling from behind the net to collect the rebound off a Glendening shot and banking the puck off the pads of Robin Lehner.
Sabres coach Dan Bylsma challenged that Glendening was offside as he carried the puck into the offensive zone, but the goal was upheld on replay.
Larkin’s goal came 41 seconds after the Sabres killed off a four-minute penalty on forward Marcus Foligno for high-sticking Larkin in the face.
“It ticked me off a little bit, so I was playing with some edge,” Larkin said.
Five minutes later, Larkin sent a long cross-ice pass to set up Zetterberg’s insurance goal on a backhand shot from in front of the net.
“Lark’s got that competitive spirit for sure,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Not that he wasn’t good earlier, but I did think his best was the last half of the third period there.”
Glendening added an empty-net goal with 48.8 seconds remaining.
Lehner made a season-high 42 saves for the Sabres, who have lost two straight. Lehner was coming off a 33-save performance in Buffalo’s 2-1 loss to Colorado and is now 0-3-0 this season.
“The 0-and-3 in the win column bothers me,” Lehner said. “I want to win.”
Coming off consecutive 2-1 losses at home, the Red Wings had scored just 20 goals in their previous 11 games.
The lack of scoring has been countered by Mrazek’s strong play in goal. He’s allowed just seven goals in his past seven starts.
“It’s unbelievable, just to have a goalie like that playing with as much confidence as he is,” Larkin said. “You know that maybe they’ll get one, no more than two. That’s a pretty comfortable feeling.”
Mrazek only had to stop two shots in the third period, but made a couple big saves in the second to keep the game scoreless.
“The one thing with the lack of scoring is we really can’t afford any mistakes,” Blashill said. “A game like this where I thought we were carrying large parts of the play, if a goalie makes a mistake, all of the sudden, the momentum changes.”
Buffalo killed off four penalties and has not allowed a goal on 19 opposing power plays over the past six games. The Sabres seemed to gain momentum after killing off the four-minute penalty in the third period, which brought the crowd to its feet.
“I thought we were going to kill that off, ride that momentum and come back and score one the other way,” Bylsma said.
Notes: C Joakim Andersson remained in the lineup for Detroit after being placed on waivers earlier Friday. Teams have until noon Saturday to make a claim on Andersson. The move was made to allow the Red Wings to send him to the minors if the club needs to call up a defenceman or goaltender. Andersson has been a healthy scratch in 21 games this season. … The Sabres placed F Zemgus Girgensons on injured reserve and recalled F Cal O’Reilly. Girgensons has missed four games with an upper-body injury and is expected to be out at least another 10 days. … The Red Wings killed off a first-period penalty and have not allowed a power play goal in the past three games. … The newly established National Women’s Hockey League will holding its first All-Star game Sunday in Buffalo. The league had a table in the concourse for fans to meet players and buy tickets.