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At the Rink: Sabres at Red Wings

by Paul Harris /

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres, who play Sunday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN), are going in opposite directions.

Detroit (25-11-9) is tied for second place in the Atlantic Division. Buffalo (14-29-3) is last in the Eastern Conference and tied for the worst record in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers.

The Red Wings and Sabres each played Saturday. Detroit won its third straight and seventh in its past 10 games with a 5-2 victory against the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings were led by the youthful second line of Riley Sheahan between Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. Tatar (two goals, assist) reached the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career. Nyquist had a goal and an assist. Sheahan had two assists.

"Every game you kind of get more and more comfortable and you build more confidence. I think our whole team together, we complement each other really well," Sheahan said. "We've got good chemistry. When you put us all together, it's fun playing, especially when you're on the front end."

Buffalo's 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday was its 10th straight regulation defeat.

"The effort was there and obviously some of the things that happened when you have a couple young defensemen, that's going to happen occasionally," Sabres coach Ted Nolan told after the game. "But at least the effort was way better."

Sunday is the Sabres' final game before the All-Star break, which ends Jan. 26.

Here are the projected lineups:


Brian FlynnZemgus GirgensonsChris Stewart

Matt MoulsonTorrey MitchellTyler Ennis

Cody HodgsonPhilip VaroneDrew Stafford

Nicolas DeslauriersMatt EllisPatrick Kaleta

Tyler MyersJosh Gorges

Nikita ZadorovRasmus Ristolainen

Andre BenoitTyson Strachan

Jhonas Enroth

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Andrej Meszaros

Injured: Mike Weber (lower body), Brian Gionta (head), Cody McCormick (blood clot in leg), Marcus Foligno (hand)


Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader

Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar

Stephen Weiss - Darren Helm - Teemu Pulkkinen

Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Joakim Andersson

Jonathan Ericsson - Niklas Kronwall

Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser

Brendan Smith - Xavier Ouellet

Petr Mrazek

Tom McCollum

Scratched: Daniel Cleary, Brian Lashoff

Injured: Jakub Kindl (elbow), Tomas Jurco (back), Jonas Gustavsson (shoulder), Johan Franzen (head), Jimmy Howard (groin).

Status report: Mrazek has won all three starts in impressive fashion (five goals allowed) since Howard was injured. He will start Detroit's second game in two nights.

Who's hot: Girgensons had two goals in the loss in Philadelphia. Tatar has four goals and an assist in his past three games.

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