NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 20th (All times eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (28-26-5) at Detroit Red Wings (38-12-8), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The NHL's top power-play unit returns to the ice tonight, as the Detroit Red Wings host the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings are clicking at a league-best 28.1 percent on the man advantage this year and have netted 72 power-play goals this year. San Jose is a distant second in both categories, recording 61 goals on the man advantage while posting a 23.9 percent conversion rate on the power play.
Detroit's power-play unit was red-hot in Wednesday's 6-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Johan Franzen had two of Detroit's five power-play goals in the victory, returning from a five-game absence due to an upper-body injury to also add an assist. Nicklas Lidstrom also had two goals -- including the lone even-strength Detroit goal -- and an assist to help the Red Wings halt a two-game skid that followed six wins in a row.
Jiri Hudler and Henrik Zetterberg each registered a goal and an assist, while Ty Conklin made 23 saves to notch his 20th win of the season and give head coach Mike Babcock his 200th career win on Detroit's bench.
Conklin won his fourth straight start and is 2-0-0 in his career versus the Ducks, halting 47-of-50 shots faced. Chris Osgood, meanwhile, is 14-3-1 with a pair of ties and 2.57 goals against average in his career versus Anaheim.
The Red Wings end a three-game homestand tonight and have won five of their last six as the host. Detroit, which trails the Sharks by three points for the top record in the Western Conference, is 21-4-3 at Joe Louis Arena this year.
After losing a 5-4 overtime setback in Anaheim on October 29, the Red Wings have won two straight over the Ducks and will wrap their season series with the club tonight. Detroit has won five of the last eight meetings overall and 10 of the last 11 as the host in the series.
The Ducks hit the road for a season-high six-game trip tonight after dropping the final two games of a three-contest homestand. That residency concluded on Wednesday with a 4-3 setback to the Los Angeles Kings.
Ryan Getzlaf recorded a goal and two assists for the Ducks, who are 13-13-2 on the road this season. Chris Kunitz and Teemu Selanne also scored versus the Kings.
With Jean-Sebastien Giguere having allowing five goals on 25 shots faced in Sunday's loss to Atlanta, Jonas Hiller got the start on Wednesday and allowed four goals on 26 shots. Giguere had won back-to-back starts prior to the loss to Atlanta, having allowed just three goals in that span.
Giguere is 5-12-0 with a tie and 2.54 GAA lifetime versus the Red Wings, while Hiller has never started against them. He did, however, face them in relief on December 1, getting the loss in 2-1 decision after yielding a goal on nine shots.
Defenseman Chris Pronger is set to skate in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight. Since making his debut with the Hartford Whalers in 1993-94, Pronger has posted 140 goals and 452 assists for 592 points. He is set to become the third Duck to reach that milestone this year, joining Todd Marchant and Bret Hedican.
02/20 10:47:22 ET