Gameday Updates: Sabres at Red Wings

Franzen and Bertuzzi know what's up. HE'S BACK! - Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The playoff race scorches to the finish.

The Detroit Red Wings have been presented with a grand opportunity tonight. A team they terrorized in the first game of the season (despite only winning 2-1) comes back looking to stave off having the worst overall record in the league. Two points are there against the Buffalo Sabres tonight. Just. Take them. Take them and run.

Red Wings

  • DO YOU FEEL THE MAGIC IN THE AIR?! He's back! The Magic Man Pavel Datsyuk returns to the Red Wings lineup tonight. Expectations for this game and the potential elation and/ or soul-crushing have ramped up significantly.

  • Jimmy Howard gets the start tonight, and Jonas Gustavsson will man the nets against Montreal tomorrow.

  • Daniel Alfredsson is a game-time decision. If both Datsyuk and Alfredsson play, Todd Bertuzzi and Joakim Andersson will likely be healthy scratches; if just Datsyuk, then it looks like Bertuzzi's the odd-man out.

  • In less pleasant news, it looks like Stephen Weiss is done for the season. Shut it down and bring it next year.

  • In more pleasant news, captain Henrik Zetterberg looks to resume skating next week. It's unfortunate Weiss is done for the season, but with Datsyuk returning tonight and Helm having returned and not gotten injured again, you can't have all the health luck turning your way when it comes to players coming back into the lineup. (All these players getting hurt in the first place is a different story.)

  • Jonathan Ericsson is still recovering from surgery which "stabilized" a broken finger. His target return date may not be this season, depending on how far the Red Wings advance in the playoffs, should they get there:
    Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson isn’t likely to return during the first round of the playoffs, Holland said. He had surgery March 19 to stabilize a fractured finger and repair a partially torn tendon.

    --Ansar Khan, MLive
  • Finally, a little footnote on the night, referee Don van Massenhoven will be officiating his last NHL game tonight. I wonder how he'll celebrate his last game as referee of a Red Wings game.

Sabres

Out of Town Scoreboard

Chicago Blackhawks at Columbus Blue Jackets: The team 1 point behind us takes on the defending Stanley Cup champions one night after blanking division foe Philadelphia. Both the Blue Jackets and the Red Wings will have 5 games remaining after tonight, so both playoff spots and playoff positioning are still very much in the air.

Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils: I honestly think both teams are done, but I've been wrong before. Washington is 4 points back of Columbus for the last wild card spot, New Jersey 5. Given the circumstances, I would expect this game to be a brutal all-out war with two teams absolutely desperate for points for a playoff spot and scrounging for every lucky break in the standings they can get; given the teams playing, I expect this game to not be anywhere near that exciting, and it will probably go to a shootout.

I went on Twitter last night to find lots of people bumming out about how supposedly every team the Red Wings "needed" to lose won their games last night. No matter how tenuous a 1-point lead over Columbus and a 2-point lead over Toronto at the moment currently are, don't be confused about who "needs" the other to lose: Toronto and Columbus, and hell, even Washington and New Jersey, need US to lose. Sure, it would be nice and would make the Red Wings' lives a lot easier, But Detroit still firmly in the driver's seat. Win your games, get your points, take care of business, and who cares what other teams are doing?

LET'S GO RED WINGS!!!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Winging It In Motown

You must be a member of Winging It In Motown to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Winging It In Motown. You should read them.

Join Winging It In Motown

You must be a member of Winging It In Motown to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Winging It In Motown. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker