There are games that give Buffalo Sabres fans encouragement for what lies ahead in the years to come.  Then there are the first 55 minutes of Monday night's match-up with the Detroit Red Wings that make you realize this team has a long way to go.  The Red Wings dominated play for most of the game, building a 3-0 lead until the Sabres scored twice in the final four minutes to make it close in a 3-2 loss.

It was a crucial win for the Wings as they battle for one of the final Eastern Conference playoff spots while looking to keep their streak of playoff appearances in tact now standing at 24 straight years.

Zemgus Girgensons scored his 6th goal of the season and Sam Reinhart scored his 22nd just 61 seconds apart to put the game in doubt over the final two minutes.  The Sabres had some great opportunities to tie it up but it was too big a hill to climb.

This game was won in the first two periods as the Wings outshot the Sabres 21 to 9.  But give the Sabres credit for bouncing back in the third period with 11 shots including the last 6 of the game.

It doesn't get any easier.  The Sabres play another playoff-bound team, the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

More From 106.5 WYRK