DETROIT (AP) Lucas Raymond, Patrick Kane and Dylan Larkin all scored in the first period and Alex Lyon made 37 saves and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Sunday.

The win gives Detroit 84 points, moving them past idle Pittsburgh and Philadelphia into the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Washington Capitals blowing another late lead and losing in overtime to Ottawa kept the Red Wings in the top eight in the East.

“That’s points in four of our last six games. That’s victories in two of our last three,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “We’re slowly gobbling up some points, keeping ourselves in the fight. We’ve been getting some help around the league, but it comes to a point where we got to take care of ourselves and we did that today.”

Raymond opened the scoring 53 seconds into the game as he scored his 26th of the season. In 12 games against the Sabres, he has five goals and 10 assists.

“It feels good to get a win,” Raymond said. “Obviously maybe not our best game, but we found a way to get it done. Alex played great back in net. Big win.”

Detroit won three of four games against Buffalo this season.

“It (stinks),” Sabres forward Alex Tuch said of losing two in a row to the Red Wings late in the season. “Plain and simple. There’s no sugarcoating it.”

Kane beat Buffalo defenders Bowen Byram and Henri Jokiharju and tucked the puck past goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen at 4:24, for his 19th of the season. He has 14 goals and 16 assists in 28 games against his hometown Sabres.

Larkin scored his 31st of the season on a power play at 7:37. Raymond had the primary assist. It's the 40th multi-point game of Raymond's career.

“Raymond has been unbelievable,” Lalonde said. “You could see Raymond building. The two years I’ve been here you could see the whole package building and now he’s driving us in these big games.”

Lyon, who stopped all 17 shots he faced in the third period, earned his 20th victory.

“To be honest with you, it’s largely a team stat, wins, to some degree,” Lyon said. “I just think that it’s like any goalie stat. Just appreciative of the guys. Just gotta keep battling. We’ve got five games left here, so I think that’s kind of where all of our minds are.”

Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider had 10 of his team’s 27 blocked shots.

“I really, genuinely appreciate it,” Lyon said. “I understand how to block shots with a whole host of gear. It hurts for those guys. It does. And Mo always has multiple ice bags on after every game. I give him a lot of credit. He’s fearless, along with all the other guys. It really resonates with our team a lot and I think it makes us better.”

Tage Thompson scored his 29th of the season on the power play at 13:16 of the first, extending his goal streak to a season-best three games. Luukkonen had 21 saves for the Sabres.

“It’s tough, because you build a game plan and then they get one and we let it turn into two and into three,” Thompson said. “Now we’re in a hole, and it is tough when you are behind and trying to chase your way back into the game.”


Sabres: visit the Stars on Tuesday.

Red Wings: host the Capitals on Tuesday.



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