Preview: Buffalo at Detroit
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
An inability to hold a third-period lead continues to haunt the Detroit Red Wings, who continue their five-game homestand against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. The matchup will pit two of the league’s top rookies in Buffalo’s Jack Eichel, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, and high-scoring Detroit forward Dylan Larkin.
The Red Wings are riding a seven-game point streak (4-0-3), but they have blown a third-period edge in each of their last four contests, losing two of them in overtime. “It’s been frustrating,” Detroit forward Luke Glendening told the team’s official website. “I think it’s been my line the last four games or five games here, so we have to figure … a way to hold on.” After scoring seven goals during a six-game skid (0-4-2), the Sabres have rebounded with impressive 4-1 victories over Carolina and at Nashville. It marked the first time Buffalo has won by at least three goals on consecutive nights since March 2008.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TVA, MSG (Buffalo), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE SABRES (10-12-2): Chad Johnson posted both victories over the weekend and has surrendered only eight goals in his last seven appearances. “He’s been playing real well,” said forward Ryan O’Reilly, who had one goal and set up another in Saturday’s victory. “We’re confident in him that we can take the risks we need in order to create some offense now. It’s worked out for us.” Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo was back at practice Monday after suffering a dented trachea in Saturday’s game and joked: “For me it was hard to swallow, pardon my pun, but it was a scary moment.”
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (12-8-4): The 19-year-old Larkin is on a goal-scoring binge, tallying six times over the past seven games to boost his team-leading total to 10 goals – which also is tops among the league’s rookies. Coach Jeff Blashill mixed up his power-play units at Monday’s practice in an effort to get production from a unit that is 0-for-9 in the past three games and finished a woeful 4-for-37 in the month of November. Goaltender Petr Mrazek, who has won only one in his last five starts (1-1-3), will get the nod against the Sabres while Jimmy Howard starts Thursday.
1. The Red Wings have been a nemesis for Buffalo, going 11-0-1 in their last 12 meetings.
2. Eichel has two goals in his last three games but has only one assist in the past nine contests.
3. Detroit has killed off 15-of-16 short-handed situations in its last five games.
PREDICTION: Red Wings 3, Sabres 2