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game preview

Red Wings at Sabres preview

Detroit has won three of past four; Buffalo looking to tighten up defensively

by Heather Engel / NHL.com Correspondent

RED WINGS (21-26-7) at SABRES (26-20-7)

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

 

The Game

The Buffalo Sabres will look to shore up their defensive play when they host the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

The Sabres have allowed at least four goals in eight of their past 10 games, including 17 in their past three, and at least 30 shots in seven those 10. They are 3-6-1 during that stretch.

The Red Wings had their three-game winning streak end with a 4-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. 

 

Players to watch

Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past eight games. 

Sabres forward Sam Reinhart has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past two games.

 

They said it

"The one thing I'd say is on a consistent basis, I think, his compete level's been real high. And like any player, it can ebb and flow a little bit, [but] it's stayed at a real high level almost all season long." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill on Gustav Nyquist

 

"A lot of it is just positionally, and it's not just our [defensemen], it's a five-man unit out there, communicating and getting things sorted out quickly because things happen fast. … It's not about effort." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Dylan Larkin -- Justin Abdelkader

Thomas Vanek -- Frans Nielsen -- Anthony Mantha

Darren Helm -- Luke Glendening -- Andreas Athanasiou

Michael Rasmussen -- Jacob de la Rose -- Christoffer Ehn

Niklas Kronwall -- Mike Green

Danny DeKeyser -- Nick Jensen

Jonathan Ericsson -- Dennis Cholowski

Jimmy Howard

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Martin Frk, Luke Witkowski

Injured: Evgeny Svechnikov (knee surgery), Trevor Daley (foot), Tyler Bertuzzi (upper body)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Jason Pominville

Conor Sheary -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Sam Reinhart 

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Vladimir Sobotka -- Evan Rodrigues -- Tage Thompson

Rasmus Dahlin -- Zach Bogosian

Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Lawrence Pilut - Jake McCabe

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: C.J. Smith, Nathan Beaulieu, Matt Hunwick

Injured: Casey Nelson (upper body)

 

Status report

Nelson was sent to Rochester of the American Hockey League on a conditioning stint Friday.

 

Stat pack

Vanek has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past eight games. … Athanasiou has five assists in his past four games. … Ristolainen, who will play in his 400th NHL game, has 13 points (one goal, 12 assists) in 13 games against the Red Wings since the 2015-16 season. … Scandella will play in his 500th NHL game.

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