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DETROIT - Daniel Alfredsson's goal with less than five minutes left in the first period helped the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres tonight at Joe Louis Arena.
Nicholas Deslauriers' first NHL goal helped the Sabres cut Detroit's 3-0 lead to 3-2 early in the third.
Darren Helm gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 5:47 when he picked up a rebound off the skate of Buffalo goalie Matt Hackett and shot high into an open net. Less than 10 minutes later, the Red Wings took a 3-0 lead by scoring two goals in less than 90 seconds: Tomas Jurco at 14:12 and Alfredsson at 15:28.
Jamie McBain's power-play goal with 7:32 left in the second cut Detroit's lead to 3-1, and Deslauriers scored at 6:40 of the third to make it 3-2.
Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard made 21 saves; Hackett made 28 saves for the Sabres.
Detroit has 88 points and currently holds the first Eastern Conference wildcard playoff spot. The Red Wings play at 7 p.m. Saturday at Montreal.