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Red Wings 3, Sabres 2

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Right winger Daniel Afredsson had a goal and an assist and the Detroit Red Wings held on for a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Center Darren Helm and right winger Tomas Jurco also scored for Detroit (37-26-14), which is in the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Defenseman Danny DeKeyser had two assists and Jimmy Howard made 21 saves.

It was Red Wings' coach Mike Babcock's 413th win for Detroit, which ties him for the all-time franchise record with Jack Adams.

Defenseman Jamie McBain and left winger Nicolas Deslauriers got his first career goal, for Buffalo (21-47-9 ), which has the NHL's worst record. Goaltender Matt Hackett stopped 28 shots.

Deslauriers pulled the Sabres to within one, 6:40 into the third period. He drilled a loose puck from the slot off a face-off past Howard.

McBain's power-play goal put Buffalo on the scoreboard with 7:32 left in the second period. He beat Howard with a wrist shot from the left circle for McBain's fifth goal.

Detroit led 3-0 after the first period.

Helm opened the scoring 5:47 into the game when he put in a loose puck from Hackett's right at the side of the crease. It was Helm's 11th goal.

Jurco and Andersson then scored 1:16 apart.

Jurco tipped Dekeyser's shot from the point out of the air and past Hackett for a power-play goal with 5:48 left in the first periuod. It was Jurco's seventh goal and second in two games. It came with left winger John Scott in the penalty box for hooking.

Alfredsson got his 18th goal, with 4:32 remaining in the opening period, when he scored on a rebound.

NOTES: Detroit C Pavel Datsyuk returned after missing 16 games with an inflamed knee. He had also missed 30 of the last 34 games. ... Buffalo D Henrik Tallinder missed his second game with a lower-body injury. ... Red Wings RW Daniel Alfredsson returned after missing a game with a sore back. ... Sabres LW Ville Leino formerly played with Detroit. ... Sabres goalies Matt Hackett and Michal Neuvirth both played junior hockey with the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers, who are based in suburban Detroit. ... Friday was the final game for referee Don Van Massenhoven. It was the 1,277th NHL game of his career. He chose to work his final game at Joe Louis Arena.

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