The Sabres are looking for a victory after giving up a late goal as they visit the Red Wings in Detroit. It’s the second time this season in which the two teams have met, with Buffalo taking the first game by a 3-2 score by way of the shootout.
Buffalo are coming off a disappointing loss to the Bruins. After Tim Schaller scored his first NHL goal and Andrej Meszaros notched his first as a Sabre, the Bruins battled back with a late game-tying goal and Dougie Hamilton won it in overtime.
“In front of family, couldn’t have been better,” Schaller said. “Used to go to games here growing up. Didn’t even know how to celebrate. I’m excited to get the puck to my parents. That’ll be special for them.”
Buffalo were already in bad shape injury-wise going into that game, but Brian Gionta took a hard hit and left the game, and Marcus Foligno exited with an injury as well. The Sabres managed to earn a point, but they missed out on the extra one.
The Red Wings have their own struggles to worry about. They haven’t won a game in over two weeks, when they beat the Hurricanes by a 3-1 score on December 7th. Since then, Detroit have gone 0-2-4 with five of those games being played on home ice. Tonight concludes the Red Wings’ four game homestand and they’ll look to salvage a victory against a division foe.
Detroit will look to forget about their recent woes, but head coach Mike Babcock said he likes the scoring chances his team has been getting.
“We directed 71 shots on the shot and we got one goal, so we’re obviously not scoring very good at this point, but I thought we played well,” Babcock said. “I thought we had the puck the majority of the game. In the end their goalie was good and we didn’t finish. So I don’t like coming to the (media) scrum every night and saying the same thing. But we got to find a way to score goals. I liked our effort.We had lots of opportunities. We didn’t finish. Let’s get on with it.”
With a few recent losses, the Sabres have fallen to 14th in the Eastern Conference, only ahead of the Hurricanes by seven points. The Red Wings sit in 5th and are just five points behind the Penguins, but Pittsburgh do have a pair of games in hand.
Tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on MSG.