Sabres-Red Wings Preview

The Associated Press

The Detroit Red Wings' attempt at a record 15th consecutive home victory will come against a team that's already set a mark for futility on the road.

The Red Wings have also dominated the struggling Buffalo Sabres for much of the past 16 years heading into Monday night's matchup.

Detroit (28-15-1) matched its team mark of 14 straight home wins - set during the 1964-65 season - with a 3-2 overtime victory over rival Chicago on Saturday. The Red Wings gave up the tying goal with 51.7 seconds left on a shot that deflected off captain Nicklas Lidstrom's right skate.

They responded by outshooting the Blackhawks 9-0 in the extra period, which Todd Bertuzzi ended with his second goal of the game and eighth this season.

"Even though we're in the thick of a tight race, it is something we can be proud of as a team," Lidstrom said. "This franchise hasn't done this since the 1960s, so it says a lot that we've been able to do it. ... It's always good to have something to motivate you on any given night."

A motivated Red Wings squad might prove too much for the Sabres, who've suffered eight straight regulation losses on the road for the first time in franchise history. They're 7-13-5 in their last 25 overall.

Buffalo's most recent win away from home was Dec. 3 against Nashville, and the Sabres (19-20-5) opened a seven-game trip - their longest of the season - with a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday. Buffalo won't play on its home ice again until Feb. 1.

"We need to step it up in the next couple of games or it's going to be a long road trip for us," goaltender Jhonas Enroth said.

After turning to Enroth on Saturday, the Sabres will likely start Ryan Miller in his home state.

The former Michigan State star, though, is 2-5-2 with a 3.30 goals-against average in nine all-time matchups with the Red Wings and 1-2-1 with a 2.96 GAA in four at Joe Louis Arena. He's also 0-6-0 with a 3.45 GAA in his last seven road starts.

Miller wasn't in net against his younger brother Drew's team during Buffalo's 4-1 home loss Dec. 2, the Sabres' third straight defeat in the series. The Red Wings scored three goals in the first 15 minutes of that game, and Pavel Datsyuk added an empty-netter for his third goal in as many games against Buffalo.

Datsyuk, who is three points shy of 700, has one goal and seven assists during a six-game point streak and has recorded at least one point in 23 of 27 contests.

He'll try to help Detroit improve on its 18-2-1 record (with one tie) in its last 22 games against Buffalo. The Red Wings are also 10-0-1 in the last 11 home meetings after winning 3-2 in overtime in the most recent one March 13, 2010.

Detroit could start Jimmy Howard in net or send out Ty Conklin to save Howard for Tuesday's visit to Dallas. Howard, the NHL's wins leader with 26, has won both of his starts against Buffalo while posting a 1.49 GAA.

Conklin is 7-1-0 with a 1.49 GAA in eight all-time matchups.

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