Time: 1:00 PM EST
Place: KeyBank Center
TV: BSDET, MSG-B
Radio: WXYT-97.1 FM
Sabres Blog: Die By The Blade
The Red Wings would very much like to replicate Saturday night’s results against the Sabres as they take on Buffalo again this afternoon. Detroit dominated Buffalo from start on route to a 4-0 victory, including the shutout for Nedeljkovic.
Detroit was also able to awaken a dormant powerplay on Saturday night, going 2 for 5 with the man advantage, scoring both powerplay goals in the first period. It’s the jumpstart they needed to hopefully make their powerplay a difference maker in tight games moving forward.
Detroit may look to ride the hot hand of Nedeljkovic as they have for most of 2022 thus far. But with the afternoon start we likely won’t know for sure if he or Greiss are the starter until close to game time.
Lucas Raymond snapped a lengthy goalless drought with a tally in Saturday’s contest. The Calder front runner will look to use that as a boost as the team approaches the halfway mark of the season. Bertuzzi remains red hot grabbing a goal and two assists Saturday, giving him 9 goals in his past 10 games and 13 points in the same stretch. Those 3 points came from a combination of the aforementioned powerplay, but also after being moved to the second line, forming a Guelph connection with Fabbri and Suter. If Bertuzzi can drive that line towards more frequent offensive success without creating a drop off in the first line, it will create some deeper scoring the team desperately needs.
With that being said, time will tell if this recent shakeup of the lines generates more offense long term. The Buffalo Sabres are far from a juggernaut opponent. Michael Rasmussen also popped a goal for the first time in 8 games. He scored on a breakaway after being sprung by Bertuzzi as Rasmussen exited the penalty box. On the down side though, that was one of three penalties on the night for Rasmussen who will quickly find himself down or out of the lineup altogether without better discipline.
Yet to be verified, but if Aaron Dell is once again the starter for Buffalo, Detroit will be looking to beat him often again today. Although he faced a lot of shots Saturday, his rebound control was not great which led to a lot of second chances for Detroit. We’ll see if Detroit again is able to crash the net and make the most of those chances. Alternatively, Buffalo may look to give Michael Houser, possibly their 6th string goalie, his first start of the season as they four other netminders who remain out.
Buffalo’s leading scorer, Tage Thompson, returned to the Sabres’ lineup in the last game but went largely unnoticed registering one shot in only 16:27 of ice time. But the same can be said for most of Buffalo’s roster in that game.
Expect a better effort from Buffalo tonight as although they are a bottom team they should still respond to the beating they took Saturday. Alex Tuch has quietly been effective with 4 points in 5 games in Buffalo. Look for his line with Thompson and Jeff Skinner to be more of a threat today for the Sabres.
Detroit is planning on starting a new winning streak with today’s game. It was a rough December and early January for the team as winning today would mark their first back to back wins since a five game win streak between Nov 24 and Dec 4. Buffalo is a good target to get that momentum going the right way. The Wings should have no fear of emptying the tank today, as due to a postponement in the middle of the week, won’t lay again until Friday.