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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, October 15th (All times eastern)

Detroit Red Wings (4-1-0) at Phoenix Coyotes (1-3-1), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings try to continue their hot start this evening when they wrap up a two-game road trip against the Wayne Gretzky-led Phoenix Coyotes at Glendale Arena.

On Thursday, Johan Franzen's first NHL goal snapped a tie with 4:52 left to play, and Detroit went on to post a 5-2 victory over Los Angeles at the Staples Center.

Kirk Maltby and Jiri Fischer each had shorthanded goals for the Red Wings, who improved to 4-1 on the young season. Brendan Shanahan and Henrik Zetterberg also tallied in the win, while Manny Legace made 26 saves in net.

Mikael Samuelsson, who had an assist, had his four-game goal scoring streak end, but has recorded a point in six straight games dating back to the 2003-04 season.

Detroit also killed off all seven of LA's power play chances and is a perfect 16-for-16 in its last three games on the penalty kill.

The game also marked the return of Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman, who was playing in his first game since May of 2004. The 40-year-old superstar sat out Detroit's first four outings with a groin injury and had his 2003-04 season cut short when he fractured facial bones when a puck hit him in the face during the playoffs.

Detroit, which will return home for two games after tonight's contest, is 2-0 on the road this season.

As good as the Red Wings have been, the Coyotes have been just as bad and come into tonight's on the heels of Thursday's 5-4 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators.

Ladislav Nagy had a goal and an assist for Phoenix, including a tally with just over two minutes remaining that forced overtime. Paul Mara also finished with one goal and one assist, as the Coyotes, who have had every game this season decided by one goal or less, fell for the fourth time in five tries to open the year.

In the shootout, Chris Mason stoned Oleg Saprykin and Petr Nedved in succession to keep the Coyotes off the board. Paul Kariya then stepped in and beat David Leneveu low on a quick wrist shot. Nagy represented the last chance for Phoenix, but his shot sailed wide to end the game.

Goaltender Curtis Joseph, who played the past two seasons with the Red Wings, had been sidelined with a groin injury, but should be back between the pipes tonight. he and the teammate Brett Hull will be playing Detroit for the first time since leaving the club.

Phoenix, which registered its only win of the year at home, will hit the road for four games following tonight's affair.

The Wings and Coyotes went 1-1-2 against each other in 2003-04.

10/15 10:47:58 ET


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