The Red Wings posted their sixth consecutive win Wednesday against Tampa Bay and the 4-2 home triumph was also Detroit's 10th victory in 12 games. Detroit last won seven in a row from March 20-April 1, 2010.
Tomas Holmstrom scored the winner in the third period to help the Red Wings skate past the Lightning. It was just the fourth goal of the season for Holmstrom, but three of those tallies have come in the last four games.
"Staying composed and not getting rattled when things don't go our way is a big part of this game," said Howard. "Sticking to the game plan is what we want to do every night."
Tonight's tilt marks the first of three straight on the road for the Red Wings, who have won three in a row as the guest to improve to 5-5-0 away from the Motor City.
The Sabres have been struggling of late and enter tonight with losses in four of their last five games. Buffalo slammed visiting Washington by a 5-1 score on Saturday, but were right back in the loss column after dropping Tuesday's 2-1 home decision against the lowly New York Islanders. Matt Moulson and Brian Rolston both scored a goal to lead the Isles to the regulation win.
"Our biggest default right now is not finishing opportunities," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff.
Buffalo has been hampered by injuries lately, primarily to goaltender Ryan Miller. The franchise netminder has missed eight consecutive games due to post-concussion symptoms and remains out indefinitely.
The Sabres could have winger Tyler Ennis back in the lineup tonight for the first time in over a month. The 22-year-old Ennis, who had 20 goals for Buffalo last season, hasn't played since suffering a sprained ankle on Oct. 22. The former first-round draft pick has failed to record a point in seven games this season.
Buffalo is just 6-7-1 as the host this year and is completing a three-game homestand tonight.
The Red Wings posted a shootout win in Buffalo in the only meeting between the clubs last year. Detroit has won two straight, five of six and seven of nine in this series overall and the Sabres have lost four of their last five home tilts versus the Wings.