DETROIT -- The Red Wings are going for a franchise-record 15th straight home win and the Sabres are trying to break their all-time skid of eight straight road losses in regulation tonight. That's Story 1A at Joe Louis Arena. But a clear 1B is the fifth career meeting of Ryan Miller and his younger brother, Red Wings winger Drew Miller.
The Millers haven't met in two years (Drew was a healthy scratch last season in Buffalo and Ryan missed the teams' December meeting with his concussion), and even got to spend all day together yesterday as the Sabres got the day off after arriving from Long Island. Their father was out of town but a younger brother and sister and some family friends had lunch and dinner at Drew's house.
"We didn't talk about hockey so that was nice," Drew said. "It didn't work out the last two years. I wanted to play last year and I know he wanted to get back from his injury to play against us. It will be fun to get back on the ice and play against each other."
"A lot of people are looking down like he's playing horrible and I don't think it's all on him," Drew said. "I don't think he's playing that bad. I think he expects more of himself. The injury is improving every day. The injuries have been pretty unfortunate for him and the team hasn't been winning like they'd like to so a lot of the pressure goes down on their big players. He's one of their guys that has to answer to that and that's tough."
As is usually the case here, Ryan had some long chats with Detroit-area reporters. Among the items he discussed was a change from a titanium mask to steel to help ease some of the puck impacts on his head.
As for the Sabres predicament tonight, Miller said, "This is a good place to start for this season. It's time to get our feet under us and play consistent hockey. [The Red Wings] had a little bit of a slower start than I think they wanted. It just shows they demanded something higher and they turned it up a notch."
The Sabres will get Andrej Sekera back tonight in place of Robyn Regehr. Joe Finley looks like a healthy scratch with T.J. Brennan arriving from Rochester and appearing to be in the lineup as well (Lindy Ruff said that would be a game-time decision)
Click below for audio from both Drew and Ryan Miller. (Sorry for the abrupt end to Ryan's interview as I had to jump off to chat with Andrej Sekera).
Click below to hear Ruff's pregame chat, where he updates the injuries, gives his thoughts on the Red Wings' streak, the problems of the Buffalo defense and Miller's road back from the concussion.