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Detroit Red Wings vs. Buffalo Sabres: Gameday Updates, Lineups, Keys to the Game

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

Gameday Updates

Projected Lines

Detroit Red Wings

FORWARDS

Dominik Kubalik - Dylan Larkin - Lucas Raymond
Tyler Bertuzzi - Michael Rasmussen - David Perron
Adam Erne - Andrew Copp - Oskar Sundqvist
Jonatan Berggren - Joe Veleno - Pius Suter

DEFENSE

Ben Chiarot - Moritz Seider
Olli Maata - Filip Hronek
Jake Walman - Jordan Oesterle

GOALTENDERS

Alex Nedeljkovic
Ville Husso

Buffalo Sabres

FORWARDS

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch
Jack Quinn - Dylan Cozens - John Jason Peterka
Vinnie Hinostroza - Casey Middlestadt - Victor Olofsson
Zemgus Girgensons - Tyson Jost - Kyle Okposo

DEFENSE

Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Dahlin
Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju
Casey Fitzgerald - Lawrence Pilut

GOALTENDERS

Craig Anderson
Ukko-Pekka Lukkonen

Keys to the Game

  1. Re-Neducation

After a solid relief performance against Toronto, Alex Nedeljkovic will be on track to get his first start since November 12th. It’s been tough sledding for Ned so far this season (2-3-1 with an .880 save percentage,) and combined with Ville Husso’s good start, he’s seen his share of the starts dwindle as the season’s progressed. That being said, a good performance tonight could go a long way towards rebuilding his confidence and getting him back to being a reliable “1B.” The Red Wings can help in that regard by limiting Buffalo’s high-danger chances early, hopefully leading to a few easy saves.

2. Win the Depth Battle

It’s hard to believe the Sabres are 9-12-1, because as you go through the roster, you more you realize “huh... these guys are kinda dangerous.” Buffalo has 11 players with double-digit points this season, more than Boston, Colorado, New Jersey, and Vegas. With so many players of causing damage, this is going to be a game in which every Red Wings’ line is going to be counted on to make a key play at both ends of the ice.

3. Get Tyler Bertuzzi Going

This will be Bertuzzi’s seventh game back from the injury that cost him pretty much all of October. While there have been some good moments, like his two assist performance against Arizona last week, it’s still be a relatively quiet start for a guy who had 62 points in 68 games last year. Derek Lalonde shuffled the second line in practice yesterday, putting Rasmussen between Bertuzzi and David Perron, so it seems as if the coaching staff is committed to trying to find a combination that helps Bertuzzi pop. If they can, and Bertuzzi regains his form from last year, the Wings’ top six will be dangerous.