DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings will continue their pursuit for a spot in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday afternoon, battling the Buffalo Sabres in a pivotal game at Little Caesars Arena beginning at 1 p.m.

Broadcast coverage between Detroit (37-31-8; 82 points) and Buffalo (37-35-5; 79 points) will be carried nationally on TNT. Radio coverage on the Red Wings Radio Network can be heard on WWJ Newsradio 950 in Detroit. 

“We have to win games and get points,” said Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin, who is riding a three-game point streak. “It doesn’t matter how we do it. We have to start winning hockey matches. That’s the focus for (Sunday).”

Michael Rasmussen (upper body) did not play in Detroit’s 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Friday and according to head coach Derek Lalonde, will be unavailable against Buffalo. Olli Maatta, who also did not dress against the Rangers, is questionable for Sunday, also with an upper-body injury.

“Our group did a good job (on Friday),” Lalonde said. “We kept their top six off the scoreboard 5-on-5. That’s why it’s even a little more frustrating not getting a result.”

Lalonde shuffled Detroit’s forward lines at practice on Saturday, notably moving Austin Czarnik to the second-line center spot between Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane. David Perron, Larkin and Lucas Raymond made up the first line. Andrew Copp, J.T. Compher and Christian Fischer were together on the third line. Robby Fabbri, Joe Veleno and Daniel Sprong skated on the fourth line.

“Playing around with some different things,” Lalonde said. “We’re playing an elite top line (Sunday) and those guys (Kane, DeBrincat, Czarnik) have had really good play together. Sometimes it just connects. They’ve had some time together when Larkin was out. They’ll get some shifts on occasion, post-penalty kill and so forth. It’s looked good, so a different look that could potentially help our depth throughout our lineup.”

Dylan Larkin | Derek Lalonde | Media Availability

Entering Sunday, Detroit is one of five clubs separated by four points battling for the Eastern Conference’s second-wild card spot, which is currently held by the Pittsburgh Penguins at 83 points.

“You got to stay even keeled and take care of what you can take care of,” Lalonde said. “It still feels like if we just win, we can control our own destiny.”

The Sabres enter Sunday’s game with 79 points and have won four of their last six games. Buffalo is coming off a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.

Rasmus Dahlin leads the Sabres in assists (38) and points (57) this season, while Alex Tuch (20-36—56) and Tage Thompson (28-26—54) have combined for 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in the last five games. Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has appeared in 50 games in net this season, posting a 26-20-3 record with a 2.55 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and five shutouts.

Detroit is looking to win the season series against Buffalo. After earning a 5-3 victory at KeyBank Center on Dec. 5, the Red Wings dropped a 7-3 road decision on March 12 before defeating the Sabres, 4-1, at Little Caesars Arena on March 16.