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Sabres at Red Wings preview: Farewell to the Joe

It’s the final game the Sabres will play in Joe Louis Arena, and we’re down to the final ten games of the season as well.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Game #73

Buffalo Sabres (29-31-12) at Detroit Red Wings (28-31-11)

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

TV: NBCSN | Radio: WGR 550

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

Three Questions

1. How will the defensive call-ups perform tonight?

Casey Nelson and Brady Austin have been recalled from Rochester to play tonight, since Franson, Falk, Fedun, and Kulikov are all injured. Nelson we’ve seen before, though hopefully his confidence and play are both in a better spot than when he last left Buffalo.

Brady Austin, on the other hand, is a 7th round draft pick from 2012 and will be making his NHL debut tonight. The 6’4’’, 230 pound Austin has spent the past three years in Rochester, playing for the Amerks, and tonight will realize his dream of making it to the NHL.

2. Which of these two teams has had the more disappointing season?

The Sabres and Wings are both out of the playoff race, with the teams sitting at 70 and 67 points, respectively. The Sabres were expected to at least challenge for the playoffs this year, something which they did in name only until a mega-slump in late February finally put them out of their misery. On the other hand, this season will see the end of Detroit’s 25-year playoff streak, and while most people saw it coming this year, that’s still gotta sting.

3. Can the Sabres make history tonight at Joe Louis Arena?

Courtesy of the always-excellent Sabres media preview, if the Sabres win tonight it will be the first time they’ve won three games in a row against the Red Wings since 1989, and the first time they’ve won back-to-back games at the Joe since 1981. Crazy.

Projected Buffalo Lines

90 Ryan O'Reilly -- 15 Jack Eichel -- 63 Tyler Ennis
Evander Kane -- 28 Zemgus Girgensons -- 12 Brian Gionta
26 Matt Moulson -- 23 Sam Reinhart -- 56 Justin Bailey
82 Marcus Foligno -- 71 Evan Rodrigues -- 52 Hudson Fasching

Josh Gorges -- 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
29 Jake McCabe -- 34 Casey Nelson
67 Brady Austin -- 47 Zach Bogosian

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner