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Sabres at Red Wings preview

Buffalo tries to end three-game losing streak; Howard in goal for Red Wings

by Dave Hogg / Correspondent

SABRES (5-9-4) at RED WINGS (9-8-2)

7:30 p.m. ET; SN360, MSG-B, FS-D+, NHL.TV


The Game

The Buffalo Sabres will be shorthanded on defense when they face the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Friday. Buffalo, which already had defensemen Zach Bogosian and Rasmus Ristolainen on injured reserve, lost Taylor Fedun to a lower-body injury in a 5-4 overtime loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. The Sabres are 0-1-2 in their past three games.

The Red Wings are 5-2-1 in their past eight games and are coming off their biggest offensive night of the season, an 8-2 victory against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. Young forwards Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Dylan Larkin combined to score five of the eight goals.


Players to watch

Evander Kane, Buffalo's leading scorer with 18 points (10 goals, eight assists), has three goals and two assists during a four-game point streak.

Larkin has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past eight games. He leads the Red Wings with 15 assists in 19 games after finishing last season with 15 in 80 games.


They said it

"I'm just going to keep things as simple as possible; I'm not going to try something crazy in my first period. -- Sabres forward Kyle Criscuolo, who will be making his NHL debut.

"Some of it has just been puck luck, but I'm playing center this year with great players and they are finishing my passes. -- Larkin on his increased assist rate.


Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Benoit Pouliot -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Seth Griffith -- Johan Larsson -- Jason Pominville

Jordan Nolan -- Zemgus Girgensons -- Kyle Criscuolo

Marco Scandella -- Justin Falk

Jake McCabe -- Nathan Beaulieu

Josh Gorges -- Viktor Antipin

Robin Lehner

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Cory Nelson, Matt Moulson

Injured: Evan Rodrigues (hand), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Jacob Josefson (ankle), Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body), Matt Tennyson (foot), Taylor Fedun (lower body)


Red Wings projected lineup

Anthony Mantha -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Gustav Nyquist

Andreas Athanasiou -- Dylan Larkin -- Tomas Tatar

Luke Glendening -- Frans Nielsen -- Justin Abdelkader

Scott Wilson -- David Booth -- Darren Helm

Jonathan Ericsson -- Trevor Daley

Xavier Ouellet -- Mike Green

Niklas Kronwall -- Nick Jensen

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Luke Witkowski (suspension), Brian Lashoff

Injured: Danny DeKeyser (ankle), Martin Frk (groin)


Status report

The Sabres placed Fedun and Tennyson on injured reserve Thursday, sent forward Nicholas Baptiste to Rochester of the American Hockey League and recalled Criscuolo and Nelson. Fedun is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. … Witkowski is serving the first of a 10-game suspension for returning to the ice during a fight in the win against Calgary. Daley practiced but will be a game-time decision after leaving the win against Calgary with an upper-body injury. Lashoff was recalled from Grand Rapids of the AHL on Friday and DeKeyser was placed on long-term injured reserve.


Stat pack

The Sabres defeated the Red Wings 1-0 at Buffalo on Oct. 24 and have won four in a row against Detroit. Eichel ended an eight-game goal drought when he scored against Pittsburgh. … Howard has held opponents to three goals or fewer in 13 of 14 starts.

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