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Buffalo Sabres PreGame Skate #25: Detroit Red Wings

The Buffalo Sabres (5-18-1) face off against the Detroit Red Wings (10-6-7) for the second time this season.  After opening up their highly

anticipated season with a loss to the Detroit Red Wings – it has been a downward spiral for the Buffalo Sabres that most recently ended in the firing of their general manager of 17 years and rookie coach who was supposed to be the short term answer and developing prospects and rebuilding the core of the team.

While it is a new direction in Buffalo – the only thing that really has changed for the Detroit Red Wings has been the scenery.  After being relegated to the Western Conference since the geographic alignment started in 1992-1993 – Detroit not only joined the Eastern Conference but the Buffalo Sabres new division, making the two Atlantic division rivals.

While Detroit is looking to make it two wins in a row, the Buffalo Sabres are looking to stop their three game skid under new interim coach Ted Nolan, who is 1-3 with his new team since joining them about a week and a half ago.

Despite a long record of good seasons, nay great seasons and playoff appearances, in 118 meetings between the Great Lakes rivals – Buffalo holds a 56-48-16 record.  At home the Sabres are 34-14-9.  Recent history however as the Buffalo Sabres only winning two of their last ten games against the Red Wings – with points in four of ten.  They have not won in their last five contests however, the last win over the Red Wings was in Buffalo back in 2009.

While much has been made about the Ryan Miller vs Jonathan Quick Team USA Goaltender duo – Jimmy Howard is in the conversation for Team USA goaltender as well.  While not as prolific a goaltender as Miller or Quick – Howard has proven that he can be a solid netminder for a good team. With the strength and caliber a team that Hockey USA could be sending to Sochi – Jimmy Howard would be a fine selection for starting netminder of the red, white, and blue.

The new look Buffalo Sabres doesn’t just apply to their recent roster shakeup moves and change in philosophy from the front office.  Tonight’s game marks the first contest that the Buffalo Sabres will wear their gold alternate jersey – and become the first team in National Hockey League history to wear a jersey with a different color front and back.  many fans were hoping that the jerseys would be buried with the memory of Darcy Regier.

The Sabres have had a few days to try and recover from their losing ways – they haven’t played since dropping the decision Thursday to the Flyers in Philadelphia.  Detroit played last night in Ottawa against another newly minted divisional opponent.  Detroit lost the contest – and continue to struggle to find wins – despite still sitting nicely nestled within the top eight of the Eastern Conference.  Prior to winning against the Carolina Hurricanes last Thursday – the Red Wings dropped 7 in a row.

Game time today is 5PM – keep it tuned here for the rest of our game day coverage.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Detroit Red Wings NHL Pregame Skate

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