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Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Red Wings pre-season game day: Buffalo hosts Detroit in exhibition finale (3:00 p.m. ET)

The Detroit Red Wings will wrap up their 2021 pre-season schedule Saturday with a matinee tilt on the road against the Buffalo Sabres.

Detroit beat the Pittsburgh Penguins by a 4-2 score Thursday, with Joe Veleno scoring a late go-ahead goal to seal the victory. Pius Suter, Filip Hronek, and Tyler Bertuzzi also tallied for the Red Wings in the win.

Buffalo has lost four consecutive exhibition games; Saturday’s game is also the last on the Sabres’ exhibition slate. Puck-drop at KeyBank Center in Buffalo will go at 3:00 p.m. ET.

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The Red Wings

After waiving Dan Renouf and Luke Witkowski on Friday, the Red Wings now have 33 players (21 forwards, nine defensemen, three goaltenders) still in training camp:

Forwards (21): Filip Zadina, Robby Fabbri, Jakub Vrána (inj.), Mitchell Stephens, Lucas Raymond, Pius Suter, Taro Hirose, Riley Barber, Michael Rasmussen, Carter Rowney, Kyle Criscuolo, Givani Smith, Jonatan Berggren, Bobby Ryan, Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, Adam Erne, Patrick Curry, Sam Gagner, Joe Veleno, Vladislav Namestnikov.

Defensemen (9): Nick Leddy, Filip Hronek, Marc Staal, Gustav Lindström, Seth Barton, Moritz Seider, Danny DeKeyser, Troy Stecher, Jordan Oesterle

Goaltenders (3): Thomas Greiss, Alex Nedeljkovic, Calvin Pickard.

The Sabres

Buffalo went with the following lines and pairings in Friday’s practice:

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Forwards

Jeff Skinner – Casey Mittelstadt – Vinnie Hinostroza/John Hayden
Axel Jonsson-Fjällby – Dylan Cozens – Anders Bjork
Rasmus Asplund – Drake Caggiula – Tage Thompson/Arttu Ruotsalainen
Zemgus Girgensons – Cody Eakin – Kyle Okposo

Defense

Will Butcher – Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson – Colin Miller
Robert Hägg – Mark Pysyk

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One of Craig Anderson and Dustin Tokarski will likely man the pipes for Buffalo on Saturday. The Sabres assigned goaltender Aaron Dell to the AHL’s Rochester Americans on Oct. 7, leaving Anderson and Tokarski as the only two netminders remaining in Buffalo’s camp.

Players to watch

While it’s unclear whether he’ll play Saturday, Danny DeKeyser will undoubtedly be a fascinating player to watch as he enters the final year of his contract in 2021–22. While the 31-year-old defenseman has never quite lived up to the six-year, $30 million deal he signed with Detroit in 2016, he showed last season he can still be a serviceable middle-pairing option when healthy. DeKeyser could end up being an appealing trade deadline target for a contender.

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Is this Craig Anderson‘s last kick at the can? He turned 40 in May and is coming off a season where he appeared in just six total games for the Washington Capitals. Mind you, he was pretty good in his limited action last year … but it’ll still be an extremely tough assignment for him to try and succeed behind that defensive group. Buffalo’s insurance policy is Dustin Tokarski, a 32-year-old career backup who has played 14 NHL games over the last five seasons.