NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 4th (All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (24-23-5) at Detroit Red Wings (32-11-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings hope to have one of their top offensive weapons back tonight as they try to win back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks in a home test versus the Phoenix Coyotes at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings entered Monday night's game versus the St. Louis Blues riding a season-high five-game losing streak. However, behind a Marian Hossa-led offense, the Red Wings escaped with a 4-3 shootout win to halt their slide.
Hossa scored twice in regulation to give him 26 goals on the season and nine in his last 12 games, and then had the game-winner in the extra session. As Detroit's third shooter, Hossa converted on a wrister before Chris Osgood turned aside David Perron to clinch the win.
Kirk Maltby had the other goal while Osgood finished the game with 30 saves for the Red Wings, whose lead for the top spot in the Central Division has shrunk to seven points over Chicago. Detroit is also six points behind San Jose for the best record in the Western Conference.
Detroit will try to win back-to-back games for the first time since doing so on January 14 and 15 and could have Henrik Zetterberg back in the lineup tonight. Zetterberg has missed three straight games due to back spasms and hasn't played since signing a 12-year contract worth a reported $72 million. He has 17 goals and 26 assists on the season.
Despite Detroit's recent skid, the club has still won eight of its last nine games at home and is 17-4-2 at Joe Louis Arena this year. The Red Wings end a three-game homestand on Saturday against Edmonton.
The Coyotes ended a lengthy goal-scoring drought last night, but it wasn't enough to prevent them from losing a fourth straight contest. Phoenix visited Nashville on Tuesday having been shut out in back-to-back games and didn't light the lamp until the third period of the 2-1 loss to the Predators.
Joel Perrault scored early in the third to end a goalless streak that lasted just over 187 minutes. It was Perrault's first of the year and first goal since February 24, as he worked his way back to the NHL after suffering a concussion prior to the start of this season. Perrault was skating in just his second game with Phoenix last night.
Ilya Bryzgalov yielded two goals on 24 shots in the loss, as the Coyotes are now on their second longest losing streak of the season. It is their longest rut since dropping six straight from November 13-24.
Phoenix, which has also lost three straight on the road and is 8-15-3 as the visiting team this year, is in a three-way tie for eighth place in the West with 53 points.
The Coyotes notched a 6-3 home win over the Red Wings on January 20 to end a nine-game series losing streak. It was their first win over Detroit since March 7, 2006, which is also the last time Phoenix won in Motown. Phoenix has lost in its last four trips to Joe Louis Arena.
02/04 10:36:18 ET