Puck Drop: 1:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Red Wings blog; Winging it in Motown
Know Your Opponent
Detroit Red Wings
Record: (21-26-7) | 49 points
Last 10: 5-5-0
Division Ranking: 7th in Atlantic Division
Conference Ranking: 14th in Eastern Conference
PP: 24th (16.3%)
PK: 24th (78.2%)
What to Watch
This afternoon’s game opens a back-to-back set of home games for the Sabres this weekend, who will be back in action on Sunday at 3 p.m. It’s also the Sabres’ second game in three nights, and overall, part of a set that sees them play three games in four days.
After the team’s sad overtime loss to the Hurricanes on Thursday - in which they were lucky to squeeze out a point - things can get out of hand quickly here between these next few games. The Sabres need to rebound with a good effort this afternoon to keep morale alive.
2. Who will step up?
Sam Reinhart essentially put out a call to his teammates following their recent loss to Carolina. Everyone needs to step up and do better (except perhaps Jeff Skinner, who was admittedly pretty excellent in Thursday’s game.) So who’s actually going to step up?
Coach Housley said that the team’s mistakes are fixable - so will they actually be fixed?
3. Who’s in, who’s out?
With no morning skate prior to Saturday’s game, there are some questions regarding the lineup. If nothing else, it seems likely that Lawrence Pilut will be out, as he was skating as part of the extra D pairing in Friday’s practice. It’s also possible that C.J. Smith has to watch Saturday’s game from the press box.
In other news, Casey Nelson has been assigned to the Amerks on a conditioning stint. When he returns, the Sabres will have nine healthy defensemen.
Buffalo Sabres (Projected)
Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Jason Pominville
Conor Sheary - Casey Mittelstadt - Sam Reinhart
Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo
Vladimir Sobotka - Evan Rodrigues - Tage Thompson
Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian
Marco Scandella - Rasmus Ristolainen
Nathan Beaulieu - Matt Hunwick
Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark
Detroit Red Wings (projected)
Justin Abdelkader - Dylan Larkin - Gustav Nyquist
Thomas Vanek - Frans Nielsen - Anthony Mantha
Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Andreas Athanasiou
Christoffer Ehn - Jacob de la Rose - Michael Rasmussen
Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green
Danny DeKeyser - Nick Jensen
Jonathan Ericsson - Dennis Cholowski
Starting Goaltender: Jonathan Bernier