Fresh off their come-from-behind overtime win in Boston, the Buffalo Sabres return to KeyBank Center to host the Detroit Red Wings. Here's what you need to know:
1. It's an NBC game, so tune in half an hour hour later. Tuesday's game starts at 7:30 as the television broadcast will be on NBCSN. Kenny Albert will call the play-by-play and Brian Boucher will be the inside-the-glass analyst. The Sabres return to NBCSN on Wednesday when they travel to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets. That game will be an 8 p.m. start with Mike "Doc" Emrick calling play-by-play with analysts Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire.
2. The Sabres have had recent success against Detroit. The last, oh, two decades have not been one of much success for the Sabres against the Red Wings. Detroit has lost to Buffalo in regulation just six times since the start of 1997-98 season, a span of 36 games. But the Sabres have won three straight against the Red Wings for the first time since sweeping the season series in 1988-89. A win on Tuesday would give the Sabres their first four-game winning streak against the Red Wings since the team won five straight from Feb. 6, 1981 to Jan. 6, 1982.
3. But Jimmy Howard is pretty good. Goaltender Jimmy Howard has some pretty good career numbers against the Sabres. The 33-year-old is 8-0-1 in 10 games against Buffalo. He has a 1.46 goals against average and a .942 save percentage with one shutout all-time against the Sabres.
4. Detroit is pretty fired up. The Red Wings come into the game after a 4-1 loss to Vancouver. Sabres coach Phil Housley noted what Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said after that game.
"He said they were out-competed, out-worked, so we definitely have to know where our opponent is right now because they've got a thorn up their side right now," Housley said after the team's morning skate in KeyBank Center. "But again, we can't take anything away from the fact on how we have to approach the game. We have to be ready from the start of the game and that's something that we've addressed and worked on and now we have to be ready for that because they're going to be a desperate hockey team.
5. The injury list is still long for Buffalo. The good news is that Zemgus Girgensons and Justin Falk practiced with the Sabres during their morning skate in KeyBank Center. Girgensons is still out with a lower body injury. Falk is also closer. The defenseman has been on the injured reserve all season with an undisclosed injury.
"They're close. It was good to see them out there for the first time in a long time with the team," Housley said Tuesday morning. "Zemgus has made great strides. He's a day-to-day situation. It was Justin's first time practicing in two to three weeks. That's intriguing to me to see them out there."
For the record, the Sabres still have Evan Rodrigues (hand), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Jacob Josefson (lower body) and Josh Gorges (lower body) all on injured reserve.