DETROIT (Ticker) -- There is a sense of relief on several fronts in "Hockeytown."
Defenseman Jason Woolley scored against his former team, Sergei Fedorov ended a seven-game goalless drought and Curtis Joseph ended a personal six-game winless streak as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the reeling Buffalo Sabres, 4-2.
It was the eighth straight loss for the Sabres, a franchise record.
Woolley was the second player acquired by Detroit from Buffalo in the last two seasons and was facing his former team for the first time since coming over for a conditional draft pick on November 16.
He put all loyalties aside, scoring his fifth goal with the Red Wings just 12:33 into the contest.
Woolley played five-plus seasons with Buffalo, where he scored 40 goals in 365 games. He was a vital part of the 1999 team, which lost in six games to the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals.
He is the Sabres' all-time postseason scoring leader among defensemen with seven goals and 27 assists in 49 games. But he had just three assists in 14 games before being placed on waivers on November 13 and departed on bad terms with coach Lindy Ruff.
"Not a chance in hell," Ruff said when asked if he can forget their differences. "He had a chance to talk to my face and he denied it. I talked with him at length over the phone when he was traded. If he doesn't want to share those feelings, he's not having a beer with me. I gave him a job in Buffalo when he didn't have a job."
"It's not as big a deal as people made it out to be," Woolley said. "It was a great feeling, mostly because it gave us the lead, but it's nice to get a goal against the old squad."
In his first 25 games for the defending Stanley Cup champions, Woolley collected four goals and 10 assists with a plus-13 rating. But he came into Thursday's game pointless in his previous 12 games with a minus-6 rating.
Fedorov opened a two-goal lead with two goals in a span of 3:29 in the second period. He avoided matching his worst slump of the season by scoring his first goal in Detroit since December 14 - a span of 10 games.
"Just changing the momentum was key," Fedorov said. "Now we've got two wins under our belts. We're getting better. I think we're going to play with more confidence."
Despite his fifth multi-goal game of the season, Fedorov has just three goals in his last 17 games.
The three goals were enough for Joseph, who made 31 saves for his first win since January 16. He snapped a six-game winless streak and improved to 15-5-4 lifetime against the Sabres.
Igor Larionov added his fifth goal early in the third for Detroit.
Tim Connolly and Denis Hamel scored for Buffalo, which is 0-6-0-2 following a seven-game unbeaten streak.
With Buffalo's Jay McKee serving a hooking penalty, the Red Wings scored the game's first goal for the first time in three games.
Brett Hull, who scored his 700th goal Monday and netted the controversial Cup-winning goal against Woolley's Sabres in 1999, fired a one-timer from the right side, which caromed to Woolley in the left faceoff circle.
"I just wanted to get the puck to the net as quickly as I could," Woolley said. "Everybody surrounded Hully like a magnet and they left me alone. It's nice to score, but the biggest thing is to win the game."
"He was opportunistic," said Buffalo rookie goalie Ryan Miller, who starred at Michigan State from 1999-2002. "Hull got into the spot where they told me to watch for him sneaking in there. I thought I made a pretty good save on that, but when you try to focus on Hull, you forget about other people."
Fedorov made it 2-0 just 53 seconds into the second. Brendan Shanahan's initial shot was stopped by Miller, but Shanahan picked up the loose puck behind the net and found Fedorov alone low in the slot, where he blasted a one-timer over the goalie.
At 4:22, the Russian superstar gave Detroit just its second three-goal lead at home in 2003. Off a turnover deep in the Red Wings' zone, Fedorov was barely over the blue line when his slap shot beat Miller.
Connolly's wrister made it 3-1, but Larionov restored the three-goal cushion, tapping the puck into a vacated net from the right side as Miller was tangled up with Tomas Holmstrom.
"There were signs of good things," Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said. "I thought at the end we kind of sat back a little too much. We generated some chances on the power play and Cujo (Joseph) made some big saves, and in the morning you wake up with two more points."
Detroit converted both of its power-play chances but was outshot 25-14 over the final 40 minutes.