The Detroit Red Wings are on a bit of a slide.
They’ve lost four games in a row after starting the 2021–22 season with a 4-2-1 record. They’ll have a chance to change their fortunes on Saturday when they face off against the surprising Buffalo Sabres at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Detroit will likely be without center @Dylan Larkin in Buffalo for the third consecutive game. The captain has been out of the lineup since Nov. 2 while dealing with an undisclosed personal matter.
Buffalo still has a winning record (5-4-1) but has lost three consecutive games, most recently falling to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday by a 5-2 score.
@Victor Olofsson has led the way for Buffalo with five goals and nine points in eight contests, but he missed the Seattle game with an injury and is not expected to suit up against Detroit. The Sabres will also be without the services of @Casey Mittelstadt and @Craig Anderson on Saturday.
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The Red Wings

Detroit used these lines in practice on Friday:
@Tyler Bertuzzi – @Pius Suter – @Lucas Raymond
@Filip Zadina – @Joe Veleno – @Robby Fabbri
@Vladislav Namestnikov – @Mitchell Stephens – @Sam Gagner
@Givani Smith – @Michael Rasmussen – @Adam Erne
Danny DeKeyser – @Moritz Seider
@Nick Leddy – @Filip Hronek
@Jordan Oesterle – @Troy Stecher
Expect @Marc Staal to slot in on the third pairing, likely in place of Stecher. Friday was a maintenance day for Staal.
@Thomas Greiss started against the Boston Bruins on Thursday and did not look great, giving up five goals on 37 shots. @Alex Nedeljkovic (1-2-2, .911 save percentage) should get the nod in Buffalo.

The Sabres

Buffalo practiced with these lines on Saturday:
@Jeff Skinner – @Tage Thompson – @Rasmus Asplund
@Drake Caggiula – @Dylan Cozens – @Vinnie Hinostroza
@Zemgus Girgensons – @Cody Eakin – @Kyle Okposo
@Anders Bjork – @Arttu Ruotsalainen – @John Hayden
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@Rasmus Dahlin – @Will Butcher
@Jacob Bryson – @Colin Miller
@Robert Hagg – @Mark Pysyk
Expect @Dustin Tokarski (1-2-1, .924) to start for Buffalo on Saturday. With Anderson unavailable, @Aaron Dell will serve as Tokarski’s backup.

Scoring leaders

Detroit: @Lucas Raymond (five goals, 10 points); @Tyler Bertuzzi (six goals, nine points); @Moritz Seider (zero goals, nine points); @Dylan Larkin (three goals, eight points); @Vladislav Namestnikov (four goals, six points).
Buffalo: @Victor Olofsson (five goals, nine points); @Rasmus Asplund (four goals, eight points); @Kyle Okposo (three goals, six points); @Zemgus Girgensons (three goals, six points); @Tage Thompson (three goals, six points).

Players to watch

Detroit: When was the last time a 19-year-old was the Red Wings’ best player? Maybe it’s too early to bestow that moniker onto @Lucas Raymond, but he’s been fantastic in his first 11 NHL games with Detroit. In addition to driving play at both ends of the ice, Raymond now leads the team with 10 points (five goals, five assists).
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Buffalo: Yes, you saw that correctly: @Tage Thompson is currently Buffalo’s number-one center. The 24-year-old is certainly their top guy on the basis of height — Thompson stands 6’7″ and weighs 218 pounds — and, to this point, he’s producing at a respectable rate. Thompson has three goals and six points in 10 games with the Sabres this season.

Viewing and listening options

Friday’s Red Wings game will be broadcast on Bally Sports Detroit starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. It’ll be sent over the airwaves on WXVT-FM 97.1 “The Ticket” in the Detroit area, as well as on the Red Wings’ official website.