Abdelkader Gets His Chance to Impress

The Red Wings appear to be giving Justin Abdelkader every chance to impress them this preseason. The lineup for tonight’s matchup with the Buffalo Sabres reveals he will be making his third appearance in as many games for Detroit.

Abdelkader has two goals and three points through the first two preseason games. He started Friday night’s game against the New York Rangers on the top line centering Todd Bertuzzi and Dan Cleary before switching placed with Valtteri Filppula to center Jason Williams and Ville Leino.

Tonight he’ll be back between Kris Draper and Patrick Eaves, as he was on Wednesday against Philadelphia.

Tonight’s expected lines are as follows:

Johan FranzenPavel DatsyukTomas Holmstrom
Kris Draper-Justin Abdelkader-Patrick Eaves
Tomas TatarKris NewburyFrancis Pare
John VigilanteFrancis LemieuxJeremy Williams

Nicklas LidstromJakub Kindl
Logan PyettBrian Rafalski
Jonathan EricssonBrett Lebda

Jimmy Howard will get the start in goal and is expected to play the entire game. Thomas McCollum will be the backup.

Tonight’s game is the first of the preseason to be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit.

I’ll be at the game but I’ll check into the gameday thread when I can.