DETROIT -- The League's best team on home ice will take on one of the worst away from its home rink on Monday night when the Detroit Red Wings host the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings, who tied the franchise record of 14 straight home wins this past weekend, will be looking to set a new franchise record against the Sabres -- who haven't won a road game since Dec. 3 in Nashville.
The Miller brothers -- Buffalo goalie Ryan and Detroit forward Drew -- will also square off as one of the game's other storylines. Ryan Miller is still finding his way back to top form in goal after a concussion knocked him out of action for about three weeks, while the Wings' Drew Miller has worked his way into an every-game role playing left wing on the third line and plenty of penalty-kill minutes.
Detroit is largely healthy, while Buffalo is riddled with injuries -- especially along the blue line. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said after Monday's skate that defenseman Robyn Regehr (upper body) will not play on Monday night and might not play this week, but Andrej Sekera (upper body) is ready to return after missing eight games on the injured reserve.
Buffalo also recalled defenseman TJ Brennan from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Monday and he could draw into the lineup against the Red Wings, as well. No matter who plays, Ruff expects them to be more careful with the puck than they were on Saturday night against the New York Islanders in a 4-2 road loss.
"Our defense is going to have to play better," Ruff said. "We're going to have to make smarter decisions and we have to be better with the puck in the offensive zone, so we get to play there more. I think that will be the key. It all starts with what we do up ice. If we allow them to control play in our end and give them that period of time, by the time we're done defending we're giving them back the puck usually … and that won't work."
Here's a look at how the Sabres and Red Wings might line up on Monday night.
Thomas Vanek - Jochen Hecht - Jason Pominville
Nathan Gerbe - Derek Roy - Drew Stafford
Luke Adam - Ville Leino - Brad Boyes
Cody McCormick - Paul Gaustad - Patrick Kaleta
Brayden McNabb - Tyler Myers
Andrej Sekera/TJ Brennan - Jordan Leopold
Mike Weber - Marc-Andre Gragnani
Johan Franzen - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg - Jiri Hudler
Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Danny Cleary
Cory Emmerton - Justin Abdelkader - Tomas Holmstrom
Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jakub Kindl - Jonathan Ericsson