Preview: Sabres look to rebound against struggling Red Wings

The blue-and-gold will head to Detroit to face a Red Wings team that has lost six in-a-row

Game 11

Buffalo Sabres (8-2-1) vs. Detroit Red Wings (3-7-0)

Puck Drop: 7:30 PM EST | Little Caesars Arena | Detroit, MI


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Red Wings Blog: Winging It In Motown

Know Your Opponent

Detroit Red Wings

Record: 3-7-0 | 6 PTS

Last 10: 3-7-0

Division Ranking: 7th in the Atlantic Division

Conference Ranking: 15th in the Eastern Conference

PP: 25th (12.1%)

PK: 26th (71.9%)

What to Watch

1. Detroit’s Downward Spiral

The first few games of the 2019-20 season were nice in Motown. The Red Wings started the year winning three of four, and Anthony Mantha was ripping-off four-goal outings. Life was good.

Since then, Detroit has spiraled out of control, losing their next six games by a combined score of 27-9. On Wednesday, they dropped a 5-2 decision to the last place Ottawa Senators. Yes, the Sabres will be playing their second game in two nights, but dropping two games in-a-row against losing teams in the Eastern Conference would still be disappointing.

2. Capitalize on the Power Play

Since the beginning of their west coast road trip last week, the Sabres haven’t been quite as potent with the man-advantage, capitalizing on only three of their last 21 opportunities.

The Red Wings have one of the worst penalty-kill units in the NHL. In fact, they’re pretty ineffective in all facets of the game. The Sabres’ special teams units need to be able to capitalize and get their groove back tonight.

3. Stay Disciplined

Despite the fact that Detroit’s power-play has been one of the league’s worst so far this season, this is an over-arching point about the 2019-20 as a whole. Currently, the Sabres are the eighth-most penalized team in the NHL at nearly 10 PIM per game (9.8, to be exact). Compounding on the issue, their penalty-kill is still below-average, operating at 79.4-percent.

Game Prediction


Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner - Marcus Johansson - Vladimir Sobotka

Jimmy Vesey - Casey Mittelstadt - Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo


Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin - Colin Miller

Marco Scandella - Henri Jokiharju

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark

Detroit Red Wings (projected)


Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha

Andreas Athanasiou - Valtteri Filppula - Luke Glendening

Darren Helm - Frans Nielsen - Taro Hirose

Justin Abdelkader - Jacob De La Rose - Evgeny Svechnikov


Patrik Nemeth - Mike Green

Trevor Daley - Filip Hronek

Dennis Cholowski - Madison Bowey

Starting Goaltender: Jimmy Howard