Buffalo Sabres (10-12-2) at
Detroit Red Wings (12-8-4)
1. Can the Sabres keep the Red Wings power play powerless?
Detroit is 0-9 in their last three games with the man advantage, and currently sit 26th in the NHL in power play percentage at just 15.8%. Coincidentally, the Sabres penalty kill is also ranked 26th in the NHL. Barring a penalty-free game, one of these numbers has to improve by the night's end.
2. Will Detroit turn around their third period woes?
According to the team's preview, Detroit has blown a third period lead in their last four games, and five out of the last seven. On the season, Detroit has scored 15 third period goals while giving up 22, and on another coincidence, the Sabres have scored exactly 22 goals in the third, their highest output of any period.
3. Can the Sabres score four or more for the third game in a row?
Detroit has some trouble putting the puck in the back of the net, scoring just 2.33 goals per game. Of course, the Sabres have had their own scoring woes, with just 2.21 goals per, which is why their last two games were so encouraging to watch. The Sabres offense this season has been slowed by "getting to know you" time with their new coach and system, and a bit of bad luck in the shooting percentage department. Detroit has a measly 1-6-1 record when their opponent scores first, so the first goal will be big tonight.
Projected BUF lines
McCabe - Franson