Sabres edge Red Wings, 3-2; Perlini cleared to travel after cut across face

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sam Reinhart jammed in a loose puck for the go-ahead goal 57 seconds into the third period in the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

The Red Wings avoided a major scare in the first period, when forward Brendan Perlini sustained a deep cut just below his right eye after being struck in the face by the skate of Buffalo defenseman Henri Jokiharju.

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Perlini has been cleared to travel with the team after requiring stitches to close a deep gash across his cheek and nose.

“Brendan’s doing good. He’s up,” Blashill said. “I think he was thankful. I was thankful. We were all scared when it first happened and first saw that it had gone near his eye.”

Marcus Johansson had a goal and assist and Conor Sheary also scored in a game the Sabres overcame two one-goal deficits. Carter Hutton stopped 27 shots, and Buffalo won for just he third time in its past nine (3-5-1).

Buffalo also rebounded to beat the Red Wings five days following a 4-3 shootout loss.

“It certainly leaves a sour taste in your mouth if it doesn’t go the way you want it to,” Reinhart said. “It’s really fresh in your mind, so it was nice to get a bounce-back against them.”

Detroit’s Darren Helm scored twice for his 11th multi-goal game and first since scoring twice on Oct. 17, 2016. Anthony Mantha had two assists in playing his first game after missing 20 with a rib injury and punctured lung.

Jonathan Bernier stopped 22 shots.

The Red Wings, who sit last in the NHL standings, were unable to build on a modest run which had them win two of three, including a 3-1 victory over Boston on Sunday. Detroit instead dropped to 2-10-1 in its past 13.

Though disappointed by the loss, Mantha was pleased to contribute and finally return to the ice after fearing his season might be over after being pulled down by Toronto defenseman Jake Muzzin in a 4-1 loss on Dec. 21.

“That was the worst pain I’ve been in playing hockey,” Mantha said. “It was a hard seven-and-a-half weeks But I am here. I’m playing hockey and enjoying it. Hopefully, I can keep enjoying it for a long time.”

Reinhart scored by taking advantage of a pair of fortunate bounces. Jokiharju’s shot from the blue line missed the net, banked off the end boards and then bounced toward the net off the skate of Sabres captain Jack Eichel. Bernier stretched out his right pad to stop the puck at the right post, before Reinhart out-muscled Luke Glendening to push it in.

Helm opened the scoring 27 seconds in when he retrieved his own rebound and slipped the loose puck through Hutton’s legs.

Sheary tied it 36 seconds later by one-timing in Johansson’s cross-ice pass to beat Bernier inside the right post.

Sheary squandered a chance to put Buffalo up 1:32 into the second period, when he shot high and wide of the net on a penalty-shot attempt. He was awarded the penalty shot after being hooked from behind by Filip Hronek.

The teams then traded goals eight minutes apart in the second period.

Helm was allowed to stand untouched in front when he shoveled in a shot to put Detroit up 2-1 at 7:02.

Johansson then tied it with a shot from the right circle that beat Bernier high on the short side. He was set up by Rasmus Dahlin, who drove up the right wing, cut to the middle and made a nifty, no-look drop pass to Johansson.

Perlini was hurt with 3:51 left in the first period. He was playing the puck along the boards in the neutral zone when Jokiharju ran into him. As the two fell, Jokiharju’s skate flew back and first knocked off Perlin’s helmet before appearing to hit him across the right cheek.

NOTES: Rasmus Dahlin’s assist on Johansson’s goal was his 76th career point, moving the 19-year-old into a tie with California Golden Seals’ Rick Hampton for third-most by a teenage defenseman. Ray Bourque ranks second with 79 and former Sabres player and coach Phil Housley (132) is first. . Red Wings C Frans Nielsen (upper body) was also activated from IR after missing five games. Detroit then re-assigned LW Taro Hirose and RW Givani Smith to AHL Grand Rapids. . The Red Wings also placed D Jonathan Eriksson on waivers.

UP NEXT

Red Wings: Continue four-game road trip at New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

Sabres: Host Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.