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...
#RedWings Ericsson is ready to go but is not playing tonight.— Dana Wakiji (@Dwakiji) November 24, 2018
And, it looks like Jimmy Howard will be back between the pipes on the second half of a back-to-back...
Back home and getting set for Buffalo. #BUFvsDET #LGRW pic.twitter.com/FIxblLd8mN— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) November 24, 2018
Red Wings Lines
Justin Abdelkader — Dylan Larkin — Anthony Mantha
Gustav Nyquist — Frans Nielsen — Andreas Athanasiou
Tyler Bertuzzi — Luke Glendening — Michael Rasmussen
Thomas Vanek — Jacob de la Rose — Christoffer Ehn
Trevor Daley — Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall — Dennis Cholowski
Danny DeKeyser — Nick Jensen
Jeff Skinner — Jack Eichel — Jason Pominville
Conor Sheary — Casey Mittelstadt — Kyle Okposo
Tage Thompson — Vladimir Sobotka — Sam Reinhart
Zemgus Girgensons — Johan Larsson — Evan Rodrigues
Jake McCabe — Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin — Zach Bogosian
Nathan Beaulieu — Marco Scandella
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.