Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
Buffalo at Detroit
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, February 22, 2018
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

The Detroit Red Wings did not wait until the trade deadline, shuffling veteran goaltender Petr Mrazek to Philadelphia in what could be the first of many moves to come. After dropping consecutive one-goal decisions to a pair of playoff teams to open their four-game homestand, the Red Wings look to get back on track against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Detroit's 25-season run of making the playoffs ended a year ago and the team is headed to another also-ran finish, although coach Jeff Blashill doesn't expect the effort to dip as rumors of trades swirl. "There better not be," Blashill said. "Our goal is the same as it was at the beginning of the year, so regardless of what happens tomorrow, the next day, our job is to compete like crazy, work like crazy." Buffalo also has been mentioned prominently in a number of trades, including potential deals for Ottawa's Erik Karlsson and Montreal's Max Pacioretty. Losers of three straight and the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the Sabres had a four-game winning streak against the Red Wings snapped in a 3-1 loss at Detroit on Nov. 17.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, MSG-Buffalo, FS Detroit

ABOUT THE SABRES (17-32-11): Forward Scott Wilson is with his third team this season, opening the season with Pittsburgh before subsequent trades to Detroit and Buffalo. Wilson failed to hit the scoresheet in 17 games with the Red Wings, but he has come alive of late with the Sabres, scoring three times and collecting five points in the last six games. "I think finally being able to play a little bit with a team for longer than a couple weeks has really gone a long way," Wilson said. "I'm starting to really learn the systems."

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (24-26-9): Defenseman Mike Green sat out the last three games due to an upper-body injury, but expressed optimism that he would be available Thursday, although Blashill was not as certain at Wednesday's practice. Green is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and considered almost certain to be moved by the trade deadline. "We've had a talk," Green said. "That's between us, though. We'll see what happens. As far as right now, I'll be in here. I'll work hard to make sure I contribute."

OVERTIME

1. Sabres F Ryan O'Reilly has five goals and 10 points in 10 games this month.

2. Red Wings F Tomas Tatar has four goals in his last six games and nine in 18 career meetings versus Buffalo.

3. Sabres G Robin Lehner has permitted at least three goals in five straight starts.

PREDICTION: Red Wings 3, Sabres 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Buffalo 17-32-10-1 L3 8-18-3-1 9-14-7-0 0-6-1-0 17-26-9-1 5-6-2-1
Detroit 24-26-8-1 L2 12-13-6-1 12-13-2-0 3-3-0-0 21-23-8-1 6-13-2-0
Last Meeting
Buffalo Detroit
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
11/17/17 BUF 1 DET 3 20 30 0-2 33 19 0-5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Buffalo V. Antipin 1
Detroit J. Abdelkader 2
Goals Player  
Buffalo R. O'Reilly 1
Detroit L. Glendening 1
Assists Player  
Buffalo V. Antipin 1
Detroit J. Abdelkader 2
Saves Player  
Buffalo R. Lehner 30
Detroit J. Howard 19
Season
Total Points Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 54
Detroit D. Larkin 48
Goals Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 22
Detroit A. Mantha 22
Assists Player  
Buffalo J. Eichel 32
Detroit D. Larkin 38
Saves Player  
Buffalo R. Lehner 1241
Detroit J. Howard 1207
Quickchart Matchup
Buffalo Off vs  Detroit Def
2.38 GF
2.98 GA
30.8 Shots
31.9 Shots
31 PP
41 PK
Detroit Off vs  Buffalo Def
2.59 GF
3.28 GA
30.2 Shots
32.4 Shots
32 PP
37 PK