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Morning Skate: Red Wings vs. Sabres

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Buffalo Sabres v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Face Off- 7:30

Where- Little Caesar’s Arena

TV- Fox Sports Detroit

Radio- 97.1 The Ticket

Sabres SB Nation Blog- Die By The Blade

The Red Wings are arguably the hottest team in hockey right now. I didn’t imagine being able to say that this deep in the season, but damn, the kids are carrying the water.

For real. The Wings have recorded points in 6 of their last 8 games. In those 8 games Larkin, Mantha and Athanasiou have combined for 26 points. Uh, anyone else notice a certain hold out returned 9 games ago? Funny how that’s worked out.

Around the kids they’ve still gotten the support they’ve needed here and there with Nyquist, Tatar and Nielsen occasionally showing up in big moments. Abdelkader got on the board against Calgary for his first goal in 11 games. Hopefully that’ll be a confidence booster for him, being key to the supporting cast.

Buffalo is looking for a supporting cast. They have been for many years and have now turned to former Michigan Wolverine, Jason Botterill to build some kind of netting around Jack Eichel. While Evander Kane is rolling at a point per game pace, Sam Reinart and Kyle Okposo have really struggled combining for only 15 points. Of all players, former Montreal grinder Benoit Pouliot has 6 goals and been the extent of their scoring depth to this point. That has them where you’d figure at the bottom of the standings.

The last time these two met you might not remember. It was so brutal if you wiped it from your memory I’d understand. The Sabres won 1-0 with Robin Lehner getting a 32 save shut out. Yikes. I’m much more confident heading into tonight than I was in October.

Here’s your projected line ups. Sabres lines from Daily Faceoff and Die by the Blade.

F1- Evander Kane-Jack Eichel-Sam Reinhart
F2-Benoit Pouliot-Ryan O’Rielly-Kyle Okposo
F3-Matt Moulson-Johan Larsson-Jason Pominville
F4-Jordan Nolan-Zemgus Girgensens-Seth Griffin

D1- Marco Scandella-Justin Falk
D2-Jake McCabe-Taylor Fedun
D3-Josh Gorges- Nate Beaulieu

Starter- Robin Lehner
Back up- Chad Johnson

Red Wings line up will be confirmed later in the Game Day Update. I’m assuming they’ll stay roughly the same with the addition of Helm for the suspended Witkowski and Brian Lashoff possibly drawing in for Daley.

F1- Mantha-Zetterberg-Nyquist
F2- (tuna)Tatar-Larkin-Athanasiou
F3- Abdelkader-Nielsen-Helm
F4- Booth-Glendening-Wilson

D1- Ericsson-Daley
D2- Ouellet-Green
D3- Kronwall-Jensen

Starter- Howard
Back up- Mrazek

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Game Day Prediction Contest

Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.

First off, if you don't have an SBN Username, make one! We'd love to have you, plus it's much easier to track your predictions season-long. Then make your guess on the winning team, final score, and who the Red Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. Only one submission per person, please. The Red Wings POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.

Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 3 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct, you'll receive 15 points.

Good luck!