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Preview: Sabres at Red Wings

Detroit without Darren Helm; Buffalo could be missing four on defense

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

SABRES (29-31-12) at RED WINGS (28-31-11)

7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, FS-D, NHL.TV

 

Sabres team scope

Buffalo Sabres defensemen Cody Franson (foot) and Taylor Fedun (foot) each is day to day after being injured during a 2-1 shootout win against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Friday. Defensemen Justin Falk (calf) and Dmitry Kulikov (upper body) each also is day to day. Defensemen Casey Nelson and Brady Austin were recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Monday and will play, with Austin making his NHL debut. "This is obviously the dream," Austin said. "When you are a kid, you always think about playing in the NHL, and now I'm going to get that shot." The Sabres are making their final visit to Joe Louis Arena, which opened in 1979. Coach Dan Bylsma said he has fond memories of the arena, dating to seeing his first NHL game there, but the biggest was winning Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2009 as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. "Every time I step onto that bench, I have a flashback to the last five seconds of that game, with [Nicklas] Lidstrom at the side of the net and [Penguins goalie Marc-Andre] Fleury making the save," he said.

 

Red Wings team scope

Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Nosek will play his first NHL game this season, replacing injured forward Darren Helm (leg). Nosek played six games with the Red Wings last season without a point. "It's exciting every time you get a chance to play at this level," he said. "That experience last year will help a lot, but it has still been a long time." Helm also will not play against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, but coach Jeff Blashill said he could return when the Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. Blashill said forward Anthony Mantha, who has been a healthy scratch and lost ice time recently, will have to earn a return to the power play. "Right now, our power play has finally got something going," Blashill said. "Anthony is very good on the power play, but he's going to have to show me that I need to split up this group."

 

Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Brian Gionta

Matt Moulson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Marcus Foligno -- Evan Rodrigues -- Hudson Fasching

Tyler Ennis -- Zemgus Girgensons -- Nicolas Deslauriers

Josh Gorges -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Zach Bogosian -- Brady Austin

Jake McCabe -- Casey Nelson

Robin Lehner

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: None

Injured: Justin Falk (calf), Justin Bailey (foot), Kyle Okposo (rib), Dmitry Kulikov (upper body), Taylor Fedun (foot), Cody Franson (foot)

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Gustav Nyquist

Andreas Athanasiou -- Dylan Larkin -- Justin Abdelkader

Anthony Mantha -- Frans Nielsen -- Riley Sheahan

Tomas Nosek -- Luke Glendening -- Drew Miller

Danny DeKeyser -- Nick Jensen

Mike Green -- Niklas Kronwall

Robbie Russo -- Xavier Ouellet

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Scratched: None

Injured: Tyler Bertuzzi (ankle), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Ryan Sproul (knee), Darren Helm (leg), Mitch Callahan (shoulder)

 

Status report

With Nelson and Austin in the lineup, Bylsma said he expects Ristolainen to take extra shifts instead of just skating in his usual pair. Lehner will start for the ninth time in 11 games. … Sproul will miss the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL sustained against the Edmonton Oilers on March 4, but he hopes to avoid surgery that could force him to miss the start of training camp next season.

 

Who's hot

Eichel has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in his past 16 games. O'Reilly has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past 10 games. … Zetterberg has 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in his past 13 games, including eight multipoint games. Tatar has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past five games, including two goals and an assist in a 5-1 victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

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