The Buffalo Sabres head to Detroit on a back-to-back after a shaky performance against the New York Rangers last night. Buffalo were dispatched by a score of 6-2 at Madison Square Garden. It was their worst performance of the young season, with not much going their way in the loss. A lot of people got trapped into selecting the Sabres in that one. They were probably due for a letdown, though, and the Sabres certainly letdown a lot of their backers on Thursday night. The Rangers put the Sabres away in the 1st period with a three-goal frame.
It was a rare off night for Carter Hutton in net, as he struggled with 6 goals against on 24 shots. That is easily his worst performance of the season. The Sabres cannot afford for Hutton to get stuck in a hole. Buffalo went on a ten-game win streak last season and they were getting excellent goaltending then. When that began to deteriorate, the entire team went off the rails and they couldn’t buy a win. Eleven games into this season and the Sabres are praying that they don’t hit the repeat button in the 2019-20 season.
With Hutton getting the nod last night, expect to see Linus Ullmark between the pipes for the Sabres in Detroit. If Hutton continues to produce a few more outings like he had last night, the door is going to be open for Ullmark to steal the starting job. Ullmark hasn’t been starting material thus far, though, as he’s posted a 3.18 GAA and 0.913 save percentage in four outings. He gets a Red Wings team tonight who are looking to avoid a six-game losing streak Friday night. The offence has been lifeless, but we’ll see if Ullmark can help the Wings out. Head below for our free Sabres vs. Red Wings pick.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Detroit Red Wings Pick
The Red Wings were feeling pretty good about themselves and where this season was going until six games ago. A lot can change in six games and the Wings haven’t seen a win since October 10th in Montreal. Their most recent loss was a 5-2 final against the Senators, a team that should have been beatable for Detroit.
At the end of the day, though, the Wings and Senators are both bad teams. An offence that was playing with so much confidence earlier has been invisible for the Wings of late. Detroit have scored less than 3 goals in all of their previous six games. In three of six games, the Red Wings scored just 1 goal, so it’s been an issue for them suddenly. During that six-game stretch, the Wings averaged just 1.5 goals per game.
Naturally, their overall numbers have regressed significantly, as the Wings are 28th in the league with 2.3 goals scored per game heading into Friday. Home ice at Little Caesars Arena hasn’t been the friendliest, either. Detroit have notched only 2.25 goals per game, while allowing 3.67 goals per game on the defensive end.
The Sabres put a beating on the Red Wings in their most recent meeting. Buffalo torched them for a 7-1 final this past April at Little Caesars Arena. It was the third win in four outings for the Sabres against the Wings. Despite the slip up against the Rangers last night, the Sabres are still in a great position with a record of 8-2-1. Jack Eichel is taking on a greater leadership role this season and the results have followed. The Sabres possess the 5th best offence in the NHL, with an average of 3.55 goals scored per game.
Playing in Detroit hasn’t been an issue for the Sabres in recent memory. Note that they’ve won three straight games against the Wings on the road and are 4-1 in their previous five meetings in Detroit. After a lackluster game last night, getting back out on the ice right away is probably best for the Sabres. Their bounce-back opportunity fortunately comes against a Red Wings team who are struggling mightily. Consider a play on the Sabres on Friday night in the NHL.