(WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres got some good news on the injury front, as Jourdon LaBarber from Sabres.com reports that scans on defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin were clear, but they don’t know how long he’ll be out.
The Russian defenseman had to be helped off the ice on Monday after blocking a shot against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Lawrence Pilut will be back in on the blue line for Buffalo on Wednesday night against the Detroit Red Wings. He's been a healthy scratch for the last five games.
Vinnie Hinostroza sat out for one game, but is back in for Rasmus Asplund on Wednesday night. The line of Asplund, Casey Mittelstadt and Victor Olofsson was a tire fire in Monday's 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay.
Mittelstadt played 9:19 on Monday, while Olofsson played 8:18 and Asplund played 8:38. In that limited playing time, the line was on the ice for two Lightning goals. How they found their way onto the ice for the Steven Stamkos goal at 14:35 of the third period is mind-boggling to me.
By that time, they should’ve been so tightly bolted to the bench because of their play that it would’ve taken a blow torch to get them loose.
Asplund is the least of their worries on that line, but he pays the price.
I guess Peyton Krebs isn’t an option right now and, to me, this is 100% on head coach Don Granato.
I’ve been screaming this since last season: Krebs is not an NHL winger. Not even close. Granato wants players to be valuable and to be able to play both, but he continues to use Krebs at left wing, even after saying that he’s not a winger and will now play center.
I have no problem trying new things, but when they fail, you have to move on. In my opinion, Granato has destroyed this kid’s confidence and he’s not even an option right now. I think the best thing would be to send Krebs to Rochester for a few weeks to play center and get his confidence back.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen never looked comfortable in net on Monday, and has now had one excellent start and two below average ones.
My guess is Craig Anderson would get the start on Wednesday in Detroit. Anderson is 4-4-0 this season with a 2.76 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.
Back on Halloween, the Sabres took the Red Wings apart, 8-3, and I’m sure the Wings haven’t forgotten. Tage Thompson had three goals and three assists in the win.
Buffalo is 2-1-1 in its last four games, but has lost 10 out of 12. Buffalo is 26th in points percentage at .432, but are still fifth in goal scoring, averaging 3.68 goals per-game.
After killing 9-of-10 penalties, the Sabres only killed 1-of-4 against the Lightning and it cost them the game.
Detroit has won four-of-five games, and since that loss to Buffalo, the Red Wings are 7-3-2. Detroit is 11th in the league with a points percentage of .619.
Alex Nedeljkovic gave up the eight goal to Buffalo in October, but because of an injury to Ville Husso, he’ll play again on Wednesday. Nedeljkovic is 2-3-1 this season with a 4.01 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage. He’s only had two starts since that game, giving up two goals in an overtime win over the New York Rangers and four goals in a loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
Dylan Larkin has points in all but four of Detroit’s games this season. The captain leads the Red Wings with 24 points in 21 games.
Buffalo has four guys with double-figure goals this year, but Detroit doesn’t have any because they’re more well-balanced.
Filip Hronek has been red-hot lately, scoring six goals and six assists for 12 points in 10 games from the blue line.
This is a radio only game with Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray calling the action. Schopp and the Bulldog will get you started with pregame coverage on WGR starting at 6 p.m. EST.