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Red Wings vs. Sabres — Updates, Projected Lines and Keys to the Game

Wings host surging Sabres; look to derail eight-game win streak

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Gameday Updates

After the NHL took a breather for Thanksgiving, both teams were back at it Friday — the Red Wings fell 3-1 to the Capitals, while the Sabres edged the Canadiens 3-2 in overtime.

Marco Scandella returned to lineup yesterday for the Sabres as they’ve been a little thin on that blueline lately. Meanwhile, Wings fans were bracing for the return of Jonathan Ericsson, but can breathe a sigh of relief...

And, it looks like Jimmy Howard will be back between the pipes on the second half of a back-to-back...

Projected Lines

Red Wings Lines

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader — Dylan Larkin — Anthony Mantha

Gustav NyquistFrans Nielsen — Andreas Athanasiou

Tyler BertuzziLuke GlendeningMichael Rasmussen

Thomas Vanek — Jacob de la Rose — Christoffer Ehn

Defense

Trevor DaleyMike Green

Niklas KronwallDennis Cholowski

Danny DeKeyserNick Jensen

Goalies

Jimmy Howard

Jonathan Bernier

Sabres Lines

Forwards

Jeff Skinner — Jack Eichel — Jason Pominville

Conor ShearyCasey MittelstadtKyle Okposo

Tage ThompsonVladimir SobotkaSam Reinhart

Zemgus GirgensonsJohan LarssonEvan Rodrigues

Defense

Jake McCabeRasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus DahlinZach Bogosian

Nathan BeaulieuMarco Scandella

Goalies

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Keys to the Game

Match their Speed

The Sabres are the hottest team in hockey, winning eight games in a row, and much of that can be attributed to their skating ability. Their young, fast and have the determination on the forecheck to force opposing teams into turnovers.

When I look up and down the Wings roster, there are some similarities though. Dylan Larkin is playing the best hockey of his career and will be a great matchup lining up in the faceoff dot opposite his American counterpart Jack Eichel. Plus, Andreas Athanasiou has been on a tear of late with 11 points in his last 10 games (eight goals) and his quickness is a nightmare for defenders to juggle.

Limit their Chances

It seems everything is rolling off the Sabres’ sticks and into the back of the net these days, outscoring their opponents 30-20 during an eight-game winning streak. Nobody has been hotter than Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner as the two have combined for 18 points over the last eight games. If the Wings can find a way to limit their production on the top line, then it should go a long way towards pulling this one out.