5 Observations: Red Wings top Sabres 6-3 in Mittelstadt's debut

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Entering Thursday's game, the Detroit Red Wings hadn't won on the road since February. Their road woes came to an end in Buffalo, topping the Sabres 6-3. 

Five observations from Thursday's loss: 

Debut for Mittelstadt

Casey Mittelstadt is a point-per-game player in the NHL. 

Kidding aside, Mittelstadt had a solid debut full of ups and downs, which shouldn't be a surprise. Before his assist in the third period, Mittelstadt was on the ice for two Detroit goals. That said, there wasn't much he could do on either goal. 

As for the positives, Mittelstadt had a couple shifts where he made plays that very few can make. After Detroit's third goal he nearly scored his first goal, after pulling a pretty forehand-backhand move. 

Overall, it was a perfectly fine debut for Mittelstadt. While he didn't score, he showed fans that he's got the hands and quickness needed to play in the NHL. 

More to be desired

For as impressive as Brendan Guhle has been in his limited time in the NHL, I'm not a huge fan of how he looked with Rasmus Ristolainen. On Thursday against the Red Wings, Guhle made a few sloppy plays at both ends of the ice, which for him is pretty uncommon.

As the Sabres start to think about next season, it's no surprise that the defensive pairs have been switched up as of late. There is, of course, a chance that Guhle and Ristolainen eventually find some chemistry, it just doesn't seem to have clicked just yet. 

Rough night in the blue paint

Some poor plays in front of the net certainly didn't help, but Robin Lehner once again had a rocky outing, allowing three goals on 20 shots. Not to be outdone, Chad Johnson who played in the third period, allowed two goals as Detroit sealed the win. Lehner wasn't on the bench to start the third and Phil Housley had no update after the game.  

Matching career high

With his goal in the first period [25th of the season], Jack Eichel has surpassed his previous career high [24 last season]. The goal gives Eichel 57 points this season, matching his total from last season. Despite the loss, Eichel was once again the Sabres best player, generating quality scoring chances from start to finish. 

The final countdown 

It's hard to believe but the Sabres have only five games left this season. With their loss on Thursday, the Sabres are now five points behind the Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks for last place. For those who feel inclined, here's a breakdown of how the NHL lottery format works. 
 

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