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The Daily: Red Wings Fans Should Beware of Buffalo; Mazur Strikes Again

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tage thompson, buffalo sabres
The Buffalo Sabres have moved ahead of Detroit in the NHL playoff race

The Detroit Red Wings’ stay in the second Eastern Conference wild card position only lasted about 24 hours, thanks to the Buffalo Sabres’ win over the Florida Panthers Friday.

Both Detroit and Buffalo show 64 points, but the Sabres now own the last spot based on the tiebreaker procedure.

Even though much of the attention in the wild card race has been on the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals and New York Islanders, the Sabres may present the biggest problem for Detroit.

The Sabres have won four out of their last five and just defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning before beating Florida. They have 23 goals in their last five games.

Buffalo has owned Detroit this season. The Sabres are 3-0 against Detroit, giving them the tiebreaker.  Buffalo has the NHL’s third-best offensive team, averaging 3.72 goals per game. The Sabres have scored 19 goals in three games against Detroit this season. The Red Wings and Sabres don’t meet again this season.

Sabres fans are as fired up about the possibility of playoffs as Detroit fans are.  The Red Wings have been out of the playoffs for six seasons, but Buffalo has been out for 11 seasons. The Sabres’ next two games are against the struggling Washington Capitals (six-game losing streak) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (3-5-2 in last 10).

Buffalo’s Achilles heel may be their goaltending. If the Sabres don’t make a trade for an established netminder, Detroit has an advantage in net. Ville Husso is better than anyone the Sabres can use.

Mazur Climbing the Charts

Detroit Red Wings prospect Carter Mazur scored his 21st goal of the season to help Denver down No. 5  Western Michigan by a 5-2 verdict. The Jackson, Michigan native also had an assist. Mazur now boasts 21 goals in 33 games. Western Michigan’s Jason Polin is the only college player with more goals than Mazur this season. Polin has 27 in 33 games.

Mazur, a hard-nosed competitor, has 108 shots on goal and five game-winning goals. Thirteen of his goals have come at even-strength this season. The sophomore Mazur boasts 35 goals in 74 collegiate games  He was drafted 70th overall in the 2021 NHL draft.

Red Wings In Case You Missed It

Red Wings are hopeful Lucas Raymond (lower body injury) will play today against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has missed the last seven games.

Red Wings have every right to be upset about the inconsistency of penalty calls, but they really aren’t.

Detroit Hockey Now’s Trade Tracker will keep readers on top of the latest action before the trade deadline. Each time a trade is made our tracker will be updated.

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Red Wings’ Next Game

The Red Wings (28-21-8) are home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. The Red Wings have won seven out of their last eight and the Lightning are 5-2-3 in their last 10. Coach Derek Lalonde is 2-0 against his former team. The Red Wings beat the Lightning 4-2 in Tampa on Dec. 6 and 7-4 at Little Caesars Arena on Dec. 21.

Hockey Now Network

Boston: Brad Marchand fined $5,000 for his dangerous hit against Seattle’s Oliver Bjorkstrand. That’s the same fine Dylan Larkin received for his crosscheck against T.J. Oshie. Boston Bruins.

Colorado: Did the Avalanche send a message with a 5-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets. Colorado Avalanche.

Florida: Goaltender Spencer Knight leaving team indefinitely to enter the NHL/NHL Players Association Player Assistance Program. Florida Panthers. 

Montreal:  Why the Canadiens haven’t been cap brokers yet in the NHL trade market. Montreal Canadiens.

New York:  Islanders help the Red Wings by falling to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday. New York Islanders. 

Philadelphia:  Tortorella said there’s no problem between Joel Farabee and him. He has not given up on Farabee. Torts said Farabee’s agent should ‘shut up.’. Philadelphia Flyers. 

Pittsburgh: Penguins place Kasperi Kapanen on waivers. What’s happening in Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh Penguins.