Five Things To Watch: Struggling Teams With Streaking Stars

Each day, THN gives you five things to watch out for in the games ahead. There are just two games tonight on tap: Detroit at Buffalo and Ottawa at Carolina. But a few key points make these good games to watch on an easy Sunday night.

1) Which history repeats itself?

The Detroit Red Wings have failed to get a point in just one of the last 12 games against the Buffalo Sabres, yet they have two losses in their last three games, have fallen to fifth place in the Atlantic, and were even called out by Jeremy Roenick on Twitter. Which recent statistic is going to show in the matchup tonight?

2) The Sabres’ Discipline

In their last game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Sabres committed eight penalties, including two 5-on-3 opportunities, in a 4-1 loss. If they want to have a chance against a struggling Red Wings squad, they have to prevent the talented Wings’ power play from getting on the ice too often.

3) Datsyuk’s Effect (Or Lack Thereof)

The Red Wings announced Pavel Datsyuk will be out for tonight’s game after taking an elbow to the head. He is being kept in Detroit and will not travel with the team. How will the loss of one of the best players in the world affect a Detroit team that is already struggling to win games as of recent?

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4) Battle of the Sixth-Place Teams

Both the Hurricanes and Senators sit sixth place in their respective division, and both has struggled recently to win. The Senators have been victorious just five times in their last 10, while the Canes have won four in the same span. The Senators have porous defense but good offense, while the Hurricanes can barely put the puck in the net yet can do alright keeping the puck out of their own. Something’s gotta give, and it will be interesting to see which team gives first on Sunday night.

5) Can Offensive Streaks Continue?

Sens defenseman Erik Karlsson leads the team in points and has six points in the last five games. Forward Clarke MacArthur has five points in his last three games. Meanwhile, Carolina’s Eric Staal has a point in five straight games. Not all of these streaks can continue forever, but who will be first to extend it?