Red Wings-Sabres Preview
GAME: Detroit Red Wings (16-10-3-0) at Buffalo Sabres (12-13-2-1).
TIME: Wednesday, 8 p.m. EST.
Brett Hull doesn't appear to be slowing down, but he does have a long way to
go before moving up any further on the NHL career goal list.
After claiming sole possession of third place Monday, Hull looks to continue
his scoring surge as the Detroit Red Wings go for their sixth win in eight
games in a matchup with the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.
Hull scored the game-winner in Monday's 3-2 overtime victory over visiting
Los Angeles for his 732nd career goal, snapping a tie with Marcel Dionne and
placing him behind only Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801).
The 39-year-old Hull has scored in seven straight games and has 11 goals
over the last 13 to take over the team lead with 16 on the season. Through
Monday's action, he was the NHL's third-leading goal scorer this season.
"Just to be there behind Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe, I can't put it into
words," said Hull, who also had an assist. "One guy is known as the greatest
player ever and the other guy is known as Mr. Hockey."
It isn't outlandish to give Hull a chance at catching Howe. He has averaged
more than 35 goals the last three seasons and has missed just one game since
signing with Detroit prior to the 2001-02 season.
"He's always dangerous out there," Kings forward Luc Robitaille said.
"Everybody knows he finds a spot. Everybody wants to check him, but he always
finds that spot. Pretty amazing how he does it."
The Wings now begin a three-game road trip after improving to 10-3 at Joe
Louis Arena. They are 6-7-3 on the road this season and 2-2-2 in their last six
away from home.
Detroit, however, will be without goaltender Dominik Hasek and defenseman
Chris Chelios for this trip, which includes games at Chicago on Thursday and at
Washington on Saturday.
The team learned Tuesday that Chelios would miss three to four weeks with a
sprained knee and Hasek would be sidelined the rest of the week after
aggravating a groin injury Monday.
Curtis Joseph was recalled from the minors Tuesday, less than a week after
clearing waivers and being sent down, to fill in for Hasek and may get the
start Wednesday. Backup goalie Manny Legace injured his knee during warmups
Monday and is day-to-day.
Buffalo suffered its third defeat in four games with a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay
The Sabres lost for the first time in regulation this season when scoring
the first goal of the game. They fell to 0-2 on a four-game homestand, which
ends Friday against the New York Rangers.
Goaltender Ryan Miller was called up Monday, and Buffalo's timing with that
move appears to have been perfect. Shortly after Miller was recalled, goalie
Mika Noronen suffered a cut to his neck during practice.
That injury will force Noronen to miss this game, and Miller is likely to
get the start in favor of a struggling Martin Biron.
"I was lucky it didn't go deeper," Noronen said of the two-inch gash.
"I'm disappointed that I can't play against (Detroit) because they're such a
good team. But what can you do?"