NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 29th (All times eastern)
Dallas Stars (21-18-7) at Detroit Red Wings (31-9-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings return to Joe Louis Arena with hopes of ending their longest losing streak of the season in tonight's matchup against the Dallas Stars.
The reigning Stanley Cup champion Red Wings lost the final three tests of a six-game road trip that ended with Tuesday's 3-2 overtime setback at Phoenix. Detroit began the trek with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Stars on January 12 and went just 2-2-2 on the swing.
Detroit has had far more success at home recently. The current Central Division leaders have won seven straight contests at Joe Louis Arena and have amassed a gaudy 16-3-2 mark as the host so far this season.
The Red Wings have also won their last three regular-season matchups with the Stars in the Motor City, including a 6-1 rout back on January 8. Dallas exacted revenge with its overtime triumph at the American Airlines Center four days later.
The home team has taken the five most recent regular-season games between these clubs, who faced off in last year's Western Conference finals. The Red Wings won that best-of-seven set in six games en route to their fourth Stanley Cup in 11 seasons.
Marian Hossa and Brett Lebda had the goals in Tuesday's loss for Detroit, which took on the Coyotes without stars Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Lidstrom. Both players served a one-game suspension by the NHL after they failed to appear at this past weekend's All-Star Game festivities in Montreal. The two Red Wing standouts had each pulled out of the game citing injuries.
Both Datsyuk and Lidstrom will be back in action tonight, but the Red Wings are likely to be minus Henrik Zetterberg. The high-scoring center, who agreed to a massive 12-year, $73 million contract on Wednesday, left the Phoenix game with back spasms and is considered doubtful to play tonight.
The Stars come in having won three of their last four tilts and posted a shutout victory at home over Atlanta on Tuesday. Marty Turco made 25 saves in Dallas' 2-0 triumph over the Thrashers, with Jere Lehtinen and Steve Ott tallying the game's lone goals.
Turco will be striving for a similar result tonight in a venue that has been a nightmare for the longtime netminder throughout his career. In 11 lifetime regular-season starts at Joe Louis Arena, the 33-year-old is 0-8 with two ties and a 3.36 goals against average.
01/29 10:45:45 ET