Sabres set for season opener in Detroit

After months of workouts, practice and mental preparation, the Sabres are in Detroit tonight to open the regular season against their new divisional rivals, the Red Wings.

On Monday, the Sabres announced that Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott will act as co-captains for the season. Vanek will wear the “C” for home games, and Ott for the away ones.

“We just thought both guys represented what we wanted,” Rolston said. “Nothing more, nothing less than that. We thought it’s all about the influence they have on the team. Those guys are big influences on the team, so we thought that was the way to go.”

The Red Wings will have their new additions in the lineup – Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson. Alfredsson has had the Sabres number over the years when he played for Ottawa.

In 89 career games against Buffalo, Alfredsson has 84 points (42 goals, 42 assists), including eight game-winning goals.

The Sabres enter the season with many young players looking to make a difference. Rasmus Ristolainen, Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons all hope to prove themselves this year in a group loaded with young talent.

Buffalo and Detroit have opened the season against each other twice, with both teams taking a game. The latest was 1999 when the Red Wings won 2-0.

These two teams will become much more familiar with each other this season, meeting four times. The Red Wings are a favorite to finish toward the top of the Atlantic division, so Buffalo will have to match their level of play.

Last season, the Red Wings finished with 56 points and made the playoffs as a #7 seed. On the other hand, the Sabres finished 12th with 48 points.

After this one, Buffalo will host Ottawa in the home opener Friday night, followed by a trip to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. There is nothing easy about the first few games and the Sabres will have a lot to prove this season.

Tonight’s game is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. and will air on the NBC Sports Network. Rick Jeanneret and the Sabres can be heard on WGR 550.

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Kevin Freiheit
Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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