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Red Wings at Sabres: Gameday Updates, Line Combinations, Key Matchups

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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Wings had an optional skate in Buffalo this morning, so we're going with what they skated yesterday, assuming that Smith and Tatar play despite soreness and illness; also assuming Richards not even being in Buffalo because of a family funeral means he's out.


Line Combinations

Red Wings Lineup

Forwards

Dylan Larkin Henrik Zetterberg Justin Abdelkader
Gustav Nyquist Pavel Datsyuk Darren Helm
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Tomas Jurco
Joakim Andersson Luke Glendening Teemu Pulkkinen

Defensemen

Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
Brendan Smith Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson Alexey Marchenko

Goaltenders

Petr Mrazek (starting)
Jimmy Howard

Scratches: Brad Richards (personal reasons)

Injuries: Johan Franzen, Drew Miller, Niklas Kronwall

Power-play units:

  1. Nyquist-Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Abdelkader (net front)-Green
  2. Larkin-Tatar-Sheahan (net front) - Pulkinnen-Smith

Sabres Lineup

Forwards

Evander Kane Ryan O'Reilly Matt Moulson
Cal O'Reilly Jack Eichel Jamie McGinn
Marcus Foligno Johan Larsson Brian Gionta
Phil Varone Tim Schaller David Legwand

Defensemen

Zach Bogosian Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe Cody Franson
Mike Weber Mark Pysyk

Goaltenders

Robin Lehner (starting)
Chad Johnson

Fun Facts!

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo is a grammatically correct sentence.

Brett Hull's skate was in the crease, but the NHL didn't care because that was a very boring Cup Final series and everybody just wanted it to be over.

Red Wings legend Dominik Hasek once played for the Sabres for a part of his career.

Key Matchups

Red Wings special teams vs the timeless march of the universe's heat death

Beating the same drum over and over eventually gets tiring, but if you add up both teams' special teams goal differentials, Detroit is -7 while Buffalo is +8. The Wings either need to fix this or they need to play a perfectly clean game.

Getting leads versus holding leads versus losing games

Neither team is that scary in regards to winning a huge percent of games they've lead after one or two periods, but we're well overdue for a game where the Wings lead wire-to-wire and we can kind of relax and enjoy the fun. The 5-1 win over Arizona way back in 2015 is the last time we've gotten one of those.

Larkin vs. Eichel

duh

Let's Go Red Wings.