Sabres at Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings hope to pile up some wins at home during the last days of their final campaign at Joe Louis Arena and look for their second straight when the Buffalo Sabres visit on Monday. The Red Wings, who likely will see their 25-year playoff streak end this season, improved to 14-15-5 at home by scoring four goals in the third period of Saturday's 5-1 victory over Colorado.
Tomas Tatar scored twice for Detroit in the win and has recorded eight goals in his last 13 games to reach 20 for the third straight season after a slow start. “I thought early in the year, he was playing good, he just wasn’t scoring,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill told reporters. “It wasn’t from lack of chances. … I don’t think his play has been a whole lot different - I just think now they are going in, and that happens sometimes with guys.” Buffalo won for just the third time in 13 games (3-8-2) on Friday with a 2-1 shootout triumph at Anaheim and figures to miss the playoffs for the sixth straight season. Jack Eichel continues to produce for the Sabres, notching four points in as many games to lead with team with 49 in 51 contests.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE SABRES (29-31-12): Eichel is one away from reaching 50 points for the second straight season to start his career while Ryan O’Reilly scored his 17th goal Friday, giving him nine points in 10 games. Evander Kane tops the team with 25 goals - four in his last 10 games – and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has registered a team-best 38 assists but has been kept off the scoresheet in three straight contest. Anders Nilsson posted his second straight win in Friday while fellow goaltender Robin Lehner has allowed six goals in his last three contests.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (28-31-11): Tatar is one of several Detroit forwards that has picked it up offensively of late, as is Henrik Zetterberg (team-best 59 points). The captain has collected 18 points in his last 13 contests to pull within five of 900 for his career and Gustav Nyquist has notched eight in a seven-game span while Andreas Athanasiou has recorded five in his last five matches. Jimmy Howard, who could be exposed for June's expansion draft, has been sharp since returning from injured reserve - allowing six goals in three games.
1. The Sabres are 2-0-1 in the season series, including a 4-3 triumph at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 27.
2. Detroit C Darren Helm suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday’s victory and is questionable.
3. Buffalo RW Evan Rodrigues has registered five shots in each of the last two games to match the career high he set in his NHL debut on April 8.