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Red Wings aim to end slide vs. Sabres

The Detroit Red Wings haven't won a game in more than two weeks. Facing a first-place team won't making it any easier to end their slide.

Detroit will carry a six-game losing streak into its home game against the Atlantic Division-leading Buffalo Sabres on Friday.

The Red Wings lost on back-to-back nights this week by identical 5-2 scores to the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators.

Special teams played a major role in their latest losses. Vancouver was held scoreless until it scored two power-play goals early in the third period.

Ottawa took the lead for keeps on a second-period short-handed goal.

"It makes it really difficult," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "You ask me about how many goals we've given up, a lot of those goals have been on the penalty kill. We've gone through games where we've played pretty good defensively and all the sudden you give up goals on the penalty kill and it melts you a little bit.

"(Wednesday), it's 2-2 and we give up a short-handed goal. If you do that, you better find a way to come back and score."

The short-handed goal was the first they've allowed this season, but they haven't scored any. Opponents have a 9-4 advantage in power-play goals through the first 10 games.

Detroit has allowed five goals each in five of the six defeats since it defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Oct. 10.

"We're not a team that can give up four or five goals on a nightly basis and win," left wing Justin Abdelkader said to NHL.com. "The best defense is playing in the offensive zone. I think we can be a great offensive-zone team.

"We showed that over stretches throughout the season so far. But when we get in the D-zone, we get a chance to make a play, make a play," he added. "Otherwise, we have to get pucks out. ... The turnovers are the plays that kill you and then you're in the zone for longer."

Wings center Luke Glendening suffered an upper-body injury at Ottawa and won't play on Friday.

Buffalo won last season's four-game series 3-1-0. The Sabres will be looking to bounce back from their second loss of the season, a 6-2 thumping by the New York Rangers on Thursday.

The Sabres have tallied 12 power play goals. Jack Eichel, Victor Olofsson and Jeff Skinner have scored six goals apiece during the hot start.

Until the loss at Madison Square Garden, Buffalo's forwards had also done a superior job protecting their zone.

"Across all four lines, we've tracked back well," left wing Jimmy Vesey said to NHL.com. "It's tough to play against that when you're the other team, when our D are staying up and the forwards are coming back. It's never fun."

It's a lot of fun for the Sabres players when their efforts to create opportunities comes to fruition.

"I think we've just been creating turnovers and turning it into offense," left wing Conor Sheary said to NHL.com.

Goaltender Carter Hutton suffered his first defeat of the season Thursday after winning his first six starts.

--Field Level Media

Updated October 25, 2019

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