Red Wings-Oilers Preview
DETROIT RED WINGS (42-17-5) at
EDMONTON OILERS (28-30-5)
7:08 p.m. MST
Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View
630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Game Notes | Oilers/Red Wings Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics
Game two of a five-game homestand goes tonight as the Edmonton Oilers battle the league’s top team, the Detroit Red Wings.
The Oilers won the first game in the homestand, defeating the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. Colorado had a 2-0 lead but Edmonton came back to score three unanswered goals for the win.
The Red Wings started the season at a record pace, going 30-8-3 through their first 41 games. The win total was the best in NHL history for an 82-game schedule at the midway point. However, even the league’s best team encounters slumps and Detroit is in a big one right now.
Since opening the season 41-10-4, the Red Wings have a record of 1-7-1 including regulation losses in six of their last seven games. Tonight wraps up a five-game road trip that has seen the Wings lose in Dallas, Calgary and Vancouver with a win in Colorado.
Injuries have certainly played a part in Detroit’s recent slide with regulars Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Dominik Hasek, Niklas Kronwall, Dan Cleary and Brian Rafalski all out due to injury.
However, the Wings won’t get any sympathy from the Oilers as they have been bit by the injury bug all season long. The latest to the infirmary include captain Ethan Moreau and Ladislav Smid
This is the fourth meeting of the season between these two teams. Edmonton has won once and Detroit has won twice.
Just The Facts...
LINEUP UPDATE (12:42 PM):
Edmonton starts Mathieu Garon in goal for the 10th straight game. Geoff Sanderson draws into the lineup for the injured Ethan Moreau.
OILERS TO WATCH:
The Oilers’ fourth line of Curtis Glencross, Kyle Brodziak and Zack Stortini
seems to have found some chemistry together. In the six games since the line was assembled, Glencross has two goals and three assists for five points. Brodziak has four goals and an assist for five points in that same six-game stretch. Stortini has three assists and is a +6… Robert Nilsson has three points (all assists) in two games against the Red Wings this season… Sam Gagner
now has points in nine straight games.
RED WINGS TO WATCH:
With so many injuries, there’s more pressure on Detroit’s top line players to produce. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are tied for the team lead in points with 73. Datsyuk has picked up goals in four of Detroit’s last seven games and points in six of eight. Zetterberg has struggled recently and has been held off the scoresheet in seven of eight games – all Detroit losses. The only game where he scored, he registered two goals in the Wings’ 4-0 win over Colorado.
Edmonton – Ethan Moreau (leg) is out. Ladislav Smid
(ankle) is out. Shawn Horcoff
(shoulder) is out. Sheldon Souray
(shoulder) is out. Raffi Torres (knee) is out; Detroit – Niklas Kronwall (clavicle) is probable. Dominik Hasek (hip flexor) is doubtful. Chris Chelios (fibula) is doubtful. Brian Rafalski (groin) is doubtful. Nicklas Lidstrom (knee) is out. Dan Cleary (broken jaw) is out.
Detroit has three of the six longest winning streaks in the NHL this season having been victorious in nine straight, eight straight and seven straight on three separate occasions… Detroit has allowed less than 20 shots on goal in 17 games this season. Overall, the Wings average 23.7 shots against per game to lead the NHL in that category… Detroit has won 544 games since the start of the 1997-98 season including 481 in the regular season and 63 in the playoffs. The Wings lead all NHL teams in regular season wins over the past 10 seasons and trail only New Jersey and Colorado (65) for playoff wins… Detroit needs only 11 points to reach 100 this season, doing so would give them 100 points for eight straight seasons – tying the Montreal Canadiens of 1974-75 through 1981-82.
- Pre-game comments from Garon, Sanderson, Nilsson & MacTavish: 700K
Sanderson returns to the lineup tonight -
With the injury to Ethan Moreau, Oilers left winger Geoff Sanderson draws back into the lineup tonight. Having last played on February 9 in Calgary, he has three assists in his last five games. ...more
Ethan Moreau out for the season
- Oilers' captain Ethan Moreau suffered a fractured left leg in the team’s 3-2 win versus the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. The injury came on the final shift of the game and he will be sidelined for the remainder of season. | Video
The Other Side
- McCarty returns home, signs with Wings - Darren McCarty accepted the Red Wings’ one-year contract offer to rejoin a franchise that he spent 11 seasons with. He could be back in Detroit by mid-March ...
Play video here | ...more
- 2:00 for the FUN of it - Derek Meech - Wing's defenseman Derek Meech reveals one of his hidden talents, and also tells us why he enjoys the outdoors. | Play video | ...more
Item of the Game
- Tonight's item of the game is a Ladies Blue Slouch Cap (One night only, $9.99)
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- New player wallpapers available! - A large number of new Oilers player wallpapers are available, covering nearly everybody on the team's current active roster. Follow the link to download yours today! ...more
- Fans beat Oilers alumni in street hockey - The Coca-Cola Ultimate Street Hockey Game was a success. In a close game, the fans beat the Oilers alumni in a shootout, thanks in part to coaching by Jarret Stoll and Marty Reasoner. ...more
From the Wire
The Detroit Red Wings' high-powered offense has propelled them to the top of the Western Conference, but they've had little success scoring on their road trip.
The league-leading Red Wings hope to get their offense back on track and conclude their disappointing five-game trip with a victory when they meet the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
Detroit (42-17-5) had a 17-point advantage atop the West on Feb. 5, but that lead has been trimmed to just six points over second-place Dallas as the Wings have gone 1-7-1 in their last nine games.
Detroit lost to Vancouver 4-1 on Saturday, one night after falling 1-0 at Calgary.
"Everything was fine until we turned the puck over to make it 3-1," coach Mike Babcock said. "And then, just by playing last night and being a little depleted anyway, we didn't have any energy to push. So that was the nail in the coffin."
The Wings, who lead the West with 200 goals, won 4-0 at Colorado on Feb. 18, but have managed only one goal in the other three games of the trip combined.
Henrik Zetterberg leads Detroit with 35 goals, but has just two goals - both against the Avalanche last week - in his last eight games. He has three goals and two assists in three games against Edmonton this season.
The Wings won their first two meetings of the season over the Oilers before suffering a 4-3 shootout loss at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 13.
Detroit won at Edmonton 2-1 on Oct. 30, but is just 3-5-3 with five ties in its last 16 games there. The Wings have not won two games in Edmonton in a single season since 1995-96.
The Oilers (28-30-5), meanwhile, have won a season-high four straight at home. They haven't posted five consecutive victories at Rexall Place since winning their first six there last season.
Despite his recent struggles, Detroit's Chris Osgood is expected to be back in net on Tuesday after he was given Saturday night off.
In his last six games, Osgood has equaled the same number of losses he suffered in his first 28 games of the season. The All-Star goalie is 1-5-0 with a 3.48 goals-against average since Feb. 7 after going 22-3-2 with a 1.84 GAA to start the season.
In his only start against the Oilers this season on Oct. 30, Osgood made 15 saves in the victory. He is 16-8-2 with four ties, four shutouts and a 2.24 GAA in his career against Edmonton.
The Oilers opened a five-game homestand with a 3-2 comeback win over Colorado Sunday.
Edmonton was down 2-0 after the first period before getting second-period goals from Sam Gagner and Curtis Glencross. Andrew Cogliano then scored the winner 7:29 into the third.
"We could have faded away and let the game drift away but we came up with two big goals in the second," Cogliano said.
Gagner, a rookie, has three goals and nine assists during a nine-game point streak, the longest by an Oiler this season.
Mathieu Garon had 27 saves Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak. Garon has won his last four in Edmonton and is 8-2-0 with a 1.50 GAA and two shutouts there since Jan. 5.
Garon has not made a start against the Wings this season, however, as backup goalie Dwayne Roloson has been in net for each meeting. Roloson, who is 1-3-3 with a 3.15 GAA in his last nine games, is 7-13-1 with three ties, a 2.73 GAA and one shutout lifetime against Detroit.
The Oilers are 11 points back of the final playoff spot in the West.