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game preview

Red Wings at Sabres preview

Detroit eyes fifth victory in six; Buffalo looks to end four-game skid

by Heather Engel / Correspondent

RED WINGS (28-38-10) at SABRES (31-36-9)

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


The Game

The Detroit Red Wings will try for their fifth win in six games when they visit the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Thursday.

Detroit has won two straight and is 4-1-0 in its past five games after going 1-9-3 in its previous 13.

The Sabres, who have lost four in a row and are 1-10-1 in their past 11 games, have been shut out four times in their past nine games.

Detroit and Buffalo each has been eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention.


Players to watch

Red Wings center Andreas Athanasiou has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past five games and is one goal shy of reaching 30 for the first time in his NHL career.

Sabres center Jack Eichel has six points (three goals, three assists) in six games against Detroit KeyBank Center and needs one goal for 100 in the NHL.


They said it

"I think the growth process for him will be eliminating the valleys and making sure those valleys are much more shallow [so] that when it's not his A game, he's got a real good B game." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill on forward Anthony Mantha

"We've been working really hard down there and we've been winning a lot, so I think we're coming up here with a lot of energy and some confidence as well. Hopefully we can bring that." -- Sabres forward Victor Olofsson on the players called up from Rochester of the American Hockey League


Red Wings projected lineup

Darren Helm -- Dylan Larkin -- Anthony Mantha

Tyler Bertuzzi -- Andreas Athanasiou -- Luke Glendening

Christoffer Ehn -- Frans Nielsen -- Taro Hirose

Matt Puempel -- Ryan Kuffner

Danny DeKeyser -- Filip Hronek

Niklas Kronwall -- Madison Bowey

Jonathan Ericsson -- Luke Witkowski

Dylan McIlrath

Jimmy Howard

Jonathan Bernier

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)


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Jason Pominville

Conor Sheary -- Vladimir Sobotka -- Alexander Nylander

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin -- William Borgen

Lawrence Pilut -- Brandon Montour

Marco Scandella -- Casey Nelson

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Scott Wilson

Injured: Evan Rodrigues (upper body), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Rasmus Ristolainen (illness), Jake McCabe (upper body), Matt Hunwick (upper body)


Status report

Mantha declared himself good to go after missing practice Wednesday. … The Red Wings held an optional morning skate. … Olofsson will make his NHL debut. ... McCabe, who has been skating on his own for the past couple of weeks, skated with the Sabres for the first time and is day to day. … Rodrigues, Bogosian, Ristolainen and Hunwick each is day to day.


Stat pack

Larkin is two goals shy of reaching 30 for the first time in his NHL career. … Skinner, with 37 goals this season, is one goal from setting an NHL career high; he also had 37 with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2016-17.

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