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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 8th (All times Eastern)

Detroit Red Wings (37-27-14) at Buffalo Sabres (21-48-9), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings hope to return to the win column on Tuesday when the playoff-hopeful club visits the Buffalo Sabres for a clash at First Niagara Center.

Detroit is in position to secure its 23rd straight playoff berth, as it currently sits in the first of two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings, who last missed the postseason in 1990, are one point ahead of Columbus and four in front of New Jersey and Toronto. The Blue Jackets host Phoenix on Tuesday, while the Devils and Maple Leafs are idle.

The Red Wings had won four straight before losing Saturday's 5-3 decision in Montreal. Detroit rallied from a 3-0 deficit to even the score in the third period, but the Canadiens recovered to win it in regulation.

Detroit used third-period goals from Pavel Datsyuk, Justin Abdelkader and Niklas Kronwall to tie the contest, but Brian Gionta restored Montreal's lead with 6:47 left and Alex Galchenyuk added an insurance tally a little over two minutes later.

Kronwall also added an assist in the loss, while Johan Franzen notched a pair of helpers. Meanwhile, Jonas Gustavsson only stopped 21 of the 26 shots he faced.

"The puck went in our net way too often. Obviously, you can't give up five on the road and expect to win," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.

Detroit fell to 19-15-4 as the guest and is playing the middle portion of a three-game road trip tonight. The Red Wings will complete the swing Wednesday night at Pittsburgh.

Tuesday's game marks an excellent chance for Detroit to get back on track, as the Red Wings have won seven straight and 10 of their last 11 games against Buffalo. The Sabres also have lost three in a row and six of their past seven home tests against Detroit.

The Sabres are assured of finishing last in the NHL standings and enter Tuesday having dropped three straight, seven of eight and 14 of their last 16 games.

Buffalo was dealt a 5-2 loss Sunday night in Philadelphia. Cody Hodgson and Mike Weber each supplied a goal, while Nathan Lieuwen stopped 32 shots for the Sabres.

"We still have four games left to play but we just got out-battled, out- competed," Hodgson admitted. "I think when you watch the game, you can see that. As a team and individuals we can all improve."

Buffalo defenseman Chad Ruhwedel suffered a concussion after taking an elbow to the head from Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo, who was suspended four games for the hit.

Lieuwen also suffered a concussion in Sunday's game and both he and Ruhwedel will sit out Buffalo's final week of the season.

The Sabres are playing their penultimate home game of the season on Tuesday and are just 13-20-6 in Western New York. Next up for Buffalo is a two-game road trip, which will be followed by the club's season-ending home game Sunday against the New York Islanders.

04/08 10:44:54 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ATL 117
CHA 114
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
CAR
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
SFG
Final
CLE 107
CHI 98
Final
WAS 84
NOP 88
Final
ATL 117
CHA 114
Final
NYK 107
MIL 120
Final
BRK 99
PHI 88
Final
DAL 108
MEM 103
Final
SAN 106
SAC 99
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
POR
 
10:00pm Tonight
PHO
LAL
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
LALAF
ARKST
 
Final
EDM 3
TAM 2
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
SJS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
ARI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
CAR
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
VAN
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
FLA
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
TAM
 
Final
PIT 30
HOU 23