The Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings have been two inconsistent teams overall so far this season in the National Hockey League, but one aspect of their seasons has been consistent: The Sabres are not a good road team, while the Red Wings are a good home team.
Buffalo will try to reverse that trend while Detroit will attempt to keep it going when the teams meet Saturday in Detroit.
The Sabres come into Detroit with a 2-5-1 record away from home, while the Red Wings are 6-2-2 at home this season.
The Red Wings are coming off a 4-2 home win over St. Louis on Wednesday, a game in which goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 35 saves.
More importantly, the win snapped a four-game losing streak and brought the Red Wings back to the .500 mark on the season after they gained just one point on a four-game road trip.
“We had a couple of bad games, but I thought it was bad structurally,” Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill said. “But other than that, I actually think it’s been really good. There was a stretch where pucks weren’t going in the net. Honestly, I just said to stay with it. We just have to stay calm and stay with it. The process is good. We just kind of rode it out and the process has stayed good.”
The Red Wings enter the game at .500 on the season (9-9-3, 21 points), fourth in the Atlantic Division.
“I think our guys know their responsibilities and I think we are getting better within those responsibilities,” Blashill said. “I think we are finding more ways to pressure.”
Buffalo (8-10-2, 18 points) enters the game sixth in the Atlantic Division, and fatigue could be a factor since this is the third game in four nights for the Sabres, while the Red Wings have had two days off.
However, Buffalo will also have some momentum, having earned a 4-1 home win over Montreal on Friday night.
The Sabres snapped a four-game losing streak with the win, in the process allowing fewer than five goals in a game for the first time since a 2-1 win at Pittsburgh on Nov. 16.
“We definitely looked more like we had hoped to look as far as our identity, transition game and defending quicker,” Sabres head coach Don Granato said. “That was nice. That was very nice to see us getting back to that. The guys felt that. They felt like they got themselves in a rhythm. They did things to get in a rhythm. We talked about handing off a better shift to the next guys that are up and doing the right things along the way. The game was much easier for the next guys hopping over the boards. It set up well.”
Now, Buffalo will try to achieve something it hasn’t in a month: a winning streak.
Buffalo hasn’t won consecutive games since Oct. 28.
This is the second meeting of the season between the teams. Detroit won the first meeting in Buffalo Nov. 6 on a goal by rookie defenseman Moritz Seider in overtime.
–Field Level Media