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EDMONTON OILERS (14-16-2) at
DETROIT RED WINGS (22-6-2)
Start Time: 5:38 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com. Game Notes | Edmonton/Detroit Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics The Edmonton Oilers can finish their three-game road trip having picked up five of a possible six points with a win tonight over the Detroit Red Wings but it won't be easy..
The Red Wings have won seven straight games going into tonight and are 9-1-1 in their last 11. Detroit is far and away the best team in the league with 46 points through 30 games. Next closest is Ottawa with five points less.
While Detroit is difficult nearly everywhere, they're practically impossible to beat on home ice. With a record of 13-2-0 in 15 games at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings have won six straight at home. Both of Detroit's losses this year came against the Chicago Blackhawks.
However, as the St. Louis Blues now know, the Oilers don't let trends bother them. The Blues had not allowed a power play goal at home since October 27 but the Oilers scored twice with the man advantage on Tuesday night en route to a 5-4 shootout win over St. Louis.
LAST GAME: Oilers 5, Blues 4 (SO) This is the third meeting of the season between Edmonton and Detroit. The Red Wings won the previous two games.
Just The Facts...
Pre-Game Audio... Pre-Game at Detroit: Craig MacTavish
More News The Other Side Homer sidelined; Draper eyes return - Tomas Holmstrom didn’t skate in the Red Wings' practice Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena, and will likely miss Thursday’s home gam... Draper Babcock ...more Coach Babcock meets the press - Read what coach Mike Babcock had to say about the Wings' seven-game winning streak and much more during his visit on the NHL's weekly teleconference ... ...more Red Wings for Red Kettles - The Red Wings will host the red kettles on December 13 (vs. Edmonton), Dec.15 (vs. Florida), and Dec. 17 (vs. Washington). Watch video ...more Odds and Ends
Vote for the Play of the Week! - Mathieu Garon made some huge saves last night and the Oilers scored a ton of goals during the week of December 4 to 11. Vote now on your favourite play of the week and we will have the results on Friday! ...more Patrick LaForge on Oilers Live - Oilers President & CEO Patrick LaForge will be the guest on Oilers Live this Thursday, December 13 at 3:00 p.m. MST. Get your questions in today! ...more From the Wire
The NHL-leading Detroit Red Wings are in the midst of another lengthy winning streak, thanks mostly to their dominant play at home.
The Red Wings open a four-game homestand seeking a seventh straight victory at Joe Louis Arena - and eighth win overall - when they meet the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
Detroit (22-6-2) pushed its league-best point total to 46 with a 2-1 win at Nashville on Monday. The road game was the second and final one during a home-heavy 11-game stretch for the Wings.
With seven consecutive wins, the Red Wings are two away from matching their longest run of the season from Oct. 18-Nov. 9.
"I actually thought we were really ready to play," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the victory over the Predators. "All in all, when you go through our lineup we had a lot of strong contributions against a good team. It was a good win for us."
The Red Wings, who lead the league with 3.4 goals per game, were held to less than three goals for the first time in six contests. They were also 0-for-6 on the power play, ending a streak of 11 games in which they recorded a goal with the man advantage.
Still, center Pavel Datsyuk was able to extend his point streak to nine games by contributing an assist. He has eight goals and eight assists during that span, which ties his season-best run from Oct. 14-Nov. 1. Last season, Datsyuk had a 12-game point streak from Feb. 24-March 22.
Left wing Henrik Zetterberg, meanwhile, had his four-game point streak snapped and went scoreless for only the fourth time this season. He's third in the NHL with 41 points, totaling 21 goals and 20 assists.
At home, Zetterberg has 12 goals and nine assists in 15 games, recording a point in all but one appearance at Joe Louis Arena.
Zetterberg's home success mirrors that of his team, which has won a season-high six in a row at Joe Louis Arena and boasts a league-best 13-2-0 mark on home ice. The Red Wings won 13 in a row in Detroit from Dec. 20-Feb. 21 en route to finishing with the NHL's best home record of 29-4-8 last season.
The Red Wings have defeated the Oilers (14-16-2) twice this season, most recently 2-1 in Edmonton on Oct. 30. They've won six of the last eight meetings in Detroit.
The Oilers will be seeking to end their three-game road trip with another victory after they snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 shootout win in St. Louis on Tuesday. Edmonton leading scorer Shawn Horcoff had a goal and an assist in regulation, then scored the lone goal in the shootout to improve the Oilers to 8-1 in those situations.
"I thought we had all four lines going and we showed a lot of adversity battling back," said Horcoff, who leads the team with 15 goals and 18 assists. "We came from behind four times and I think that's impressive."
Horcoff extended his point streak to eight games - tying the career high he established Dec. 28, 2005-Jan. 14, 2006 - and has six goals and seven assists during that stretch. He did not have a point in the last game against Detroit, but has four goals and 11 assists in 24 meetings with the Wings.
Forward Ales Hemsky, second on the Oilers with 26 points, had three assists Tuesday to bring his point streak to five games.