Struggling Sabres aim for bounce-back win over Red Wings

The losses have piled up for the Buffalo Sabres, but the most recent defeat was particularly galling.

Buffalo squandered a two-goal lead in the final six minutes of regulation, then lost in overtime to Tampa Bay 6-5 on Monday.

The Sabres will try to end the month on a winning note when they visit Detroit on Wednesday night.

Buffalo is 2-9-1 over its past 12 games.

“You leave this game; that’s going to dominate everything else,” Sabres coach Don Granato said of the late collapse. “And it was every single guy. It was all the way to the overtime goal.

“I do say all this, and our guys will learn from it. I know they will. I know they are [ticked] off at it. They’ve got to own it, and they will. I know we will. It happened, and you’ve got to make sure you gain the experience of it to the point where you don’t allow it to happen again.”

Buffalo appeared to be on its way to a third victory in four games after Dylan Cozens and Jeff Skinner scored third-period goals against the Lightning. Steven Stamkos answered Skinner’s tally 16 seconds later, and Brandon Hagel tied the score with a power-play goal. Stamkos scored again during the overtime session.

“I think we played almost a full game, but we just kind of sat back at the end with that two-goal lead and let them push and take over,” Cozens said. “Those are the times we need to just keep pushing for that next goal, don’t sit back, because that’s a good team, and once they get the momentum going, they’ll take advantage, and that’s what they did.”

The Sabres kept pushing on Halloween night during their first matchup with the Red Wings this season. Buffalo scored a season high in goals while romping 8-3. The Sabres’ Tage Thompson had a career night with three goals and three assists.

On Monday, Detroit had a four-game winning streak snapped by Toronto, 4-2.

“I liked our game,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “A couple plays we left out there, a couple of misplays, but you put it in perspective their first shot was a goal midway through the first (period). It’s one of those nights the puck just did not go our way, which is going to happen. Our guys hung in there; they played the right way for the most part. But it’s just the way it went.”

Ville Husso was pulled after allowing all four goals within the first 29 minutes. Husso had been one of the major cogs during the winning streak.

“You don’t want to see your goalie get pulled, but Huss will be the first to say that he’d like a few of those back. He said it to us,” Detroit center Dylan Larkin said.

Larkin, who has seven points in his past five games, was pleased that his club didn’t look overmatched against the offensively gifted Maple Leafs. Detroit forced Toronto goalie Matt Murray to make 42 saves.

“We believe every night we go into a building we have a chance to win,” Larkin said. “That’s the league we play in. Anybody can beat anyone on any given night. We were right there, and if we play that game again, we put the puck in the net more.”