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Red Wings vs. Sabres Gameday Updates, Line Combinations, Key Matchups

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Diggers are reporting an optional skate for the Wings today in preparation for Buffalo, but lines are as expected

Line Combinations

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader Henrik Zetterberg Dylan Larkin
Brad Richards Pavel Datsyuk Darren Helm
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Gustav Nyquist
Drew Miller Luke Glendening Teemu Pulkkinen

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Mike Green
Danny DeKeyser Jonathan Ericsson
Alexey Marchenko Brendan Smith

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Power Play Units

  1. Tatar-Zetterberg-Nyquist-Abdelkader-Kronwall
  2. Pulkkinen-Datsyuk-Larkin-Richards-Green

Scratches: Jakub Kindl, Joakim Andersson, Tomas Jurco

Injuries: Johan Franzen, Kyle Quincey

The Expected Sabres Lineup

Forwards

Evander Kane Ryan O'Reilly Sam Reinhart
Matt Moulson Jack Eichel Brian Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers Zemgus Girgensons Jamie McGinn
Tim Schaller David Legwand Marcus Foligno

Defensemen

Josh Gorges Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe Zach Bogosian
Carlo Colaiacovo Cody Franson

Goaltenders

Chad Johnson
Linas Ullmark

Let's Go Red Wings!!!

Key Match-ups

Larkin vs. Eichel

They might not even play head-to-head, but the number two overall pick versus the kid that we're thrilled fell all the way to 15 will be facing off in their first NHL head-to-head game today. It should be a lot of fun to watch. Also, if you kind of squint, Larkin looks enough like Keanu Reeves' Ted to match up next to Eichel's dead-on Alex-Winter-as-Bill character from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Should be a couple of Wyld Stallyns out there tonight

Red Wings vs. Themselves

I don't want to take away from a Buffalo team that is very much trending in the right direction (especially since their fans are so sensitive about it), but the Red Wings are a better team. Sadly, the Red Wings have a habit of not imposing that better team label on inferior teams, but instead have done a lot to show they're capable of grinding out wins against contenders (and also the Leafs). The Wings should not get outplayed and they should be able to not only take but also extend and keep a lead against teams like this.