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Sabres at Red Wings preview: I have a bad feeling about this...

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With Ryan O’Reilly frozen in carbonite for a few weeks, the Sabres need a new hope tonight in Detroit.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Game #34

Buffalo Sabres (12-13-8) at Detroit Red Wings (15-15-4)

Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. EST | Joe Louis Arena | Detroit, MI

TV: MSG-B, FS-D | Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation’s Red Wings Blog: Winging it in Motown

Three Questions

1. How will the Sabres respond to O’Reilly’s injury?

Oh, you didn’t hear? Ryan O’Reilly will be out 10-14 days thanks to an appendectomy, but it’s not over yet. Hope is not lost today, it is found.

Dan Bylsma - only he could be so bold - responded by spreading out the team’s offensive talent rather than condensing it. It could be worse, but we can't hold out much longer. We have no choice.

The Sabres really need their youngsters to step up and take control, even if they’re a little short for a superstar. You know, like those two guys the team drafted #2 overall? Help us Jack Eichel, you’re our only hope.

2. Will the Sabres defense show any improvement after a few days off?

In their two games prior to the break, the Sabres defense looked more like a big walking carpet than a group of competent NHL players. I don’t know if they thought they were on a diplomatic mission or what, but Kulikov looked awful next to Ristolainen, and the rest of the nerf-herders couldn’t pick up the slack.

Bylsma is going with the same lineup tonight, if morning skate reports are to be believed, so let’s hope the pairings are less into the garbage chute and more Your Worshipfulness tonight.

3. RIP, Princess.

In case you hadn’t heard, Carrie Fisher died today after suffering a heart attack on a plane a few days ago. If you only know her as Princess Leia, then you know her as a character who is strong, intelligent, fierce, loving, brave, independent, inspirational, and one of the most iconic heroines of all time. In case you haven’t been able to tell from this preview, Star Wars was one of the biggest influences on my childhood, and getting to see Carrie reprise her most well-known role in such a meaningful way last year was truly a treat not only for me, but for millions of Star Wars fans all over the world.

But Carrie Fisher the person has been, to me, even more of an inspiration over the past few years than any character she’s ever played. A child of fame, she was cast in her life’s role at age 19, and struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol for many years. She also suffered from bipolar disorder, but despite setback after setback in her personal life, she’s been incredibly honest and forthcoming about the problems she’s faced, and has done amazing work over the past few years to help people battling addiction and bipolar disorder.

From her fantastic answer to the concerned dad trying to get her gold bikini action figure banned :

To The father who flipped out about it, -"What am I going to tell my kid about why she’s in that outfit?" Tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit, and then I killed him because I didn’t like it. And then I took it off. Backstage.

To her incredible script doctor abilities, to her public work supporting young men and women with bipolar disorder, she used not only her fame but also her flaws to help, influence, and inspire people all over the world.

Princess Leia was a hero to me as a child, for her courage and beauty on the screen. Carrie Fisher was a hero to me as well, for her courage and beauty in real life. Rest in peace, Princess, and may the Force be with you, always.

Projected BUF Lines

82 Marcus Foligno - 15 Jack Eichel - 26 Matt Moulson
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 23 Sam Reinhart - 21 Kyle Okposo
Evander Kane - 22 Johan Larsson - 12 Brian Gionta
44 Nicolas Deslauriers - 27 Derek Grant - 48 William Carrier

77 Dmitry Kulikov - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
29 Jake McCabe - 47 Zach Bogosian
Josh Gorges - 41 Justin Falk

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner