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Game Day Updates: Red Wings at Sabres Line Combinations, Key Matchups

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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

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For the Sabres, both Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly took part in their morning skate, but only O'Reilly will return tonight. He'll center Buffalo's top line.

The Red Wings decided on an optional skate this morning. We expect the lines and defense pairings to remain in tact from yesterday's practice. Jimmy Howard is your stater in net.

Detroit Line Combinations

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader Henrik Zetterberg Anthony Mantha
Tomas Tatar Frans Nielsen Luke Glendening
Gus Nyquist Dylan Larkin Thomas Vanek
Riley Sheahan Steve Ott Tyler Bertuzzi


Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall Brendan Smith
Jonathan Ericsson Ryan Sproul


Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Power Play units:

  1. Nyquist-Zetterberg-Vanek (net front), Kronwall-Sproul
  2. Tatar-Nielsen-Larkin, Mantha (net front), Green

Buffalo Line Combinations

Forwards

Matt Moulson Ryan O'Reilly Kyle Okposo
Evander Kane Sam Reinhart Zemgus Girgensons
Marcus Foligno Johan Larsson Brian Gionta
Derek Grant Cal O'Reilly Will Carrier


Defensemen

Josh Gorges Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe Cody Franson
Taylor Fedun Justin Falk


Goaltenders

Robin Lehner (starting)
Anders Nilsson

Keys to the Game:

1. Score Goals

The Red Wings have lost four straight games. In two of those four losses they've scored a total of ZERO goals. Last I checked, you can't win a hockey game when you score zero goals. I mean maybe technically if it's a 0-0 game and you win the shootout... you've won a game without scoring an official goal, but someone has to put the puck in the net to win the shootout... so yeah... where was I? Who knows. Just score some stupid goal and score a lot of them.

2. Don't Allow Goals

This one is pretty self explanatory. The Red Wings need to prevent the Sabres from shooting the puck across the goal line and into the net behind Jimmy Howard. This is a crucial part of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.