SABRES (12-15-3) at RED WINGS (16-8-6)
TV: MSG-B, BELL TV, FS-D+
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have earned at least a point in 13 straight (8-0-5) going into their game against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG-B, BELL TV, FS-D+) but still think they have a lot of room for improvement.
"Two areas that we want to be better at is, one, our turnovers have crept up over the five-game segment compared to the three previous to that, so we need to limit more of our turnovers," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We had too many turnovers the other night (a 3-2 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday) in the third period as well.
"And then as we continue to become a better offensive team, which we've been over the last 15 games -- I think we're ranked first in the League [during that time] -- we have to measure that versus making sure we're really good defensively. Ultimately, the best teams are the ones that are great defensively and offensively."
Sabres captain and forward Brian Gionta said the Red Wings are a difficult team to play.
"They are extremely hard to play against because they're a puck possession team that doesn't give up too much," Gionta said. "... We turned the puck over too much the last game against them. We've got to find ways against that team to control the puck."
Coach Dan Bylsma wants the Sabres to play a tighter game Monday than it did during a 5-4 shootout loss at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 1.
"It was definitely faster than we wanted it to be and a lot more open," Bylsma said.
Blashill praised Bylsma and the Sabres.
"The team's real structured, they're playing very hard for him," Blashill said. "I think that's probably the best compliment to a coach is that you're structured and they play hard for you."
Buffalo's power play is second in the NHL at 23.4 percent.
"We're getting back to being simple, getting shots at the net," Gionta said.
Here are the projected lineups:
Jamie McGinn - Ryan O'Reilly - Sam Reinhart
Evander Kane - Jack Eichel - Matt Moulson
Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Brian Gionta
Nicolas Deslauriers - David Legwand - Marcus Foligno
Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen
Carlo Colaiacovo - Zach Bogosian
Mike Weber - Cody Franson
Injured: Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain), Tyler Ennis (upper body), Cody McCormick (blood clots), Mark Pysyk (lower body)
Scratched: Jake McCabe
Dylan Larkin - Henrik Zetterberg - Justin Abdelkader
Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Brad Richards
Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar
Tomas Jurco - Luke Glendening - Joakim Andersson
Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green
Danny DeKeyser - Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith - Alexey Marchenko
Injured: Drew Miller (broken jaw), Teemu Pulkkinen (dislocated shoulder), Johan Franzen (concussion), Kyle Quincey (ankle)
Scratched: Jakub Kindl
Status report: Andersson has stepped into Miller's role on Detroit's fourth line and as a penalty killer.
Who's hot: O'Reilly has a seven-game point streak (three goals, seven assists) … Zetterberg has a four-game point streak (goal, three assists).