Detroit Red Wings (22-11-9, 53 pts) at Buffalo Sabres (14-26-3, 31 pts)
Tuesday January 13th, 2015
First Niagara Center
7PM TV: MSG-B, FOXS-D
Buffalo- This is the third meeting between Atlantic division rivals with each club splitting the first two games. The Sabres have lost seven straight while Detroit has won 3 out of their last 5. Prior to the game tonight former Sabres and Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek (HoF 2014) will have his No. 39 retired and jersey raised to the rafters. He is the sixth former Sabres player to receive the honor but only the first goaltender.
This past Saturday the Red Wings were defeated in Washington 3-1 but lost more than that. Starting goaltender Jimmy Howard left on a stretcher during the first period of play with an apparent groin injury. He was the lone member of the team selected to represent Detroit at the 2015 NHL All-Star game in Columbus, OH. Tom McCollum was recalled from AHL Grand Rapids Sunday. McCollum was born in Cambria, NY less than 20 miles away from downtown Buffalo. He was a Red Wings first round draft choice in 2008 and has appeared in just one game (vs St. Louis 2011).
Henrik Zetterberg leads the team in points (10-26-36) while Gustav Nyquist has eight power play goals, leading the team in that department. Petr Mrazek is expected to start in goal for Detroit.
Buffalo has been ravaged by injuries all season. Cody McCormick was hospitalized over the weekend with a blood clot in his calf muscle. Marcus Foligno (hand), Brian Gionta (upper-body) and Torrey Mitchell (foot) are still nursing injuries. Gionta and Mitchell recently returned to practice and Mitchell could be available Tuesday. Chris Stewart contracted the flu and will be a game time decision.
Phil Varone was sent back down to Rochester Saturday morning was but was called back on Sunday along with Zac Dalpe. Surprisingly Mikhail Grigorenko was not recalled. HC Ted Nolan sighted Dalpe’s experience in his call-up. With Stewart battling sickness its possible Grigorenko could be recalled before game time. Nolan also hinted that Michal Neuvirth could get the start.
Detroit will leave for St. Louis after the game where they play the Blues on Thursday igniting an old Norris division rivalry.
****Matt Ellis has been recalled from Rochester for tonight’s game****