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Sabres at Red Wings preview

Buffalo, Detroit close out disappointing seasons

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

SABRES (32-39-10) at RED WINGS (32-39-10)

7 p.m. ET; FS-D, MSG-B, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Dylan Larkin can finish off a rare accomplishment when the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres conclude their seasons at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday.

The Red Wings forward leads Detroit in goals (32), assists (41), points (73) and penalty minutes (75). He can become the first Red Wings player to lead in each category in the same season since Johnny Sheppard did it for the Detroit Cougars in 1926-27 - the franchise's first season in the NHL.

The Red Wings had a season-best six-game winning streak end on Thursday with a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Buffalo is 1-7-1 in its past nine games and 2-13-2 in its past 17. The Sabres are coming off a 5-2 win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Neither the Red Wings nor the Sabres qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

Players to watch

Buffalo forward Jeff Skinner (61 points; 38 goals, 23 assists) needs two points to match his NHL career high of 63, set in 2016-17 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his past six games.

 

They said it

"It was tough for me to play all 82 games this year, and (Sam Reinhart) has the experience to know how to avoid big hits and stay healthy, and it was tough for him. For (Rasmus Dahlin) to come over from Sweden as a 19-year-old rookie defenseman and play all 82 games is really impressive, and it is also important, because we're a lot better with him in the lineup." -- Sabres forward Jeff Skinner

"(Larkin) has had to stand up for himself a few times this year, and he's won a lot of respect by doing that. He needs to work on the minors, though. He lets his competitiveness get the best of him when someone gets a step and he ends up in the box." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill on Dylan Larkin's penalty total

 

Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Evan Rodrigues - Kyle Okposo

Scott Wilson -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Jason Pominville

Rasmus Dahlin -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Brandon Montour

Lawrence Pilut -- Casey Nelson

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: Matt Tennyson

Injured: Alexander Nylander (lower body), Marco Scandella (lower body), Vladimir Sobotka (upper body), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Matt Hunwick (upper body)

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Tyler Bertuzzi -- Dylan Larkin -- Anthony Mantha

Darren Helm -- Andreas Athanasiou -- Taro Hirose 

Martin Frk -- Christoffer Ehn -- Ryan Kuffner

Matt Puempel -- Dominic Turgeon -- Luke Witkowski

Niklas Kronwall -- Filip Hronek

Joe Hicketts -- Madison Bowey

Dylan McIlrath -- Jake Chelios

Jimmy Howard

Kaden Fulcher

Scratched: None

Injured: Thomas Vanek (mid body), Michael Rasmussen (upper body), Trevor Daley (back), Justin Abdelkader (leg), Mike Green (virus), Jacob de la Rose (accelerated heartbeat), Jonathan Ericsson (lower body), Frans Nielsen (head), Jonathan Bernier (upper body), Danny DeKeyser (lower body), Luke Glendening (lower body)

 

Status report 

Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who has played 78 games and will lead the team in games played at the age of 38, said he will strongly consider playing at least one more season.

 

Stat pack

Eichel has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games. … The Mantha-Bertuzzi-Larkin line has scored 18 goals in the past seven games.

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