The Sabres get their first game in the Wings new digs

November 17, 2017

Detroit, MI (WGR 550) - The Sabres close out their three game road trip in Detroit tonight. It’s the first time Buffalo has been to the Red Wings new arena.

On Thursday, I talked about how Marco Scandella spoke to me about how playing well without winning just isn’t good enough.

That happened in the first two games of this trip, but the Sabres lost to both Montreal and Pittsburgh in overtime. Robin Lehner agrees with his teammate, “When you have a good game and you have a loss, it’s not a fun feeling to go to work or come back to the rink, so good performances doesn’t really give you anything in the standings or contribute to our goal.

“We’ve got to find ways, trust me it’s miserable not winning games.”

Phil Housley will gush about his team win or lose if they play hard. Lehner said they don’t deserve praise for that, “You expect every team to have a high compete level, I mean that’s basic. We get paid a lot of money to go out and work hard, but working hard isn’t enough, it should be a standard.

“If you do the right things for a long period of time, you get rewarded.”

Lehner made 32 saves in a 1-0 shutout of the Red Wings in Buffalo. Lately, Lehner is 4-3-1 in his last eight games. Overall he’s 4-6-2 with a 3.10 goals against and .903 save percentage.

Sam Reinhart has been Buffalo’s best forward on this trip. He had three points against the Penguins and is thriving alongside Jack Eichel and Evander Kane.

Kane has points in four straight games while Eichel broke an eight game goal scoring drought in Pittsburgh.

Kyle Okposo has points in five out of his last seven games.

Kyle Criscuolo is playing in his first NHL game. After he left Harvard, the Red Wings signed the speedy center. He played one full season in Grand Rapids and scored 22 goals and 28 assists in 95 games including the playoffs. He came up to Buffalo as the Amerks leading scorer.

Justin Falk was fine in the morning skate. Phil Housley calls him a game-time decision.


Friday’s lines:


Kane  Eichel  Reinhart

Griffith  Larsson  Pominville

Pouliot  O’Reilly  Okposo

Girgensons  Criscuolo  Nolan


Scandella  Falk

McCabe  Beaulieu

Gorges  Antipin

Moulson  Nelson


The Red Wings scored eight goals in Wednesday's in a win over Calgary. Before that, Detroit had lost two in a row.

Jimmy Howard will get his third straight game in goal. He went 2-0-1 in his last three games allowing five goals. Howard is 7-5-1 with a 2.32 goals against and an excellent .930 save percentage.

Anthony Mantha is Detroit’s leading scorer with 19 points in 19 games. He has six goals and five assists for 11 points in his last eight games.

Luke Witkowski will not be available to the Wings because he was suspended for 10 games for coming back on the ice to enter an altercation.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog as well as Brian Koziol for pregame at 6:30 when they’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Robin Lehner and Kyle Criscuolo.