NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, March 3rd
(All times eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (38-22-2) at Detroit Red Wings (29-21-12), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to win three straight
games for the first time in nearly three months as they take on the Vancouver
Canucks, who continue their NHL-record 14-game trip tonight at Joe Louis
The Red Wings kicked off the NHL's post-Olympic schedule on Monday with a road
test in Colorado. Having bested Ottawa in its final game before the break,
Detroit made it two wins in a row for the first time since January 7-9 when
Nicklas Lidstrom scored on the power play with 9:03 left in the third period
to lift his club to a 3-2 victory.
Tomas Holmstrom, who sat out the Olympics due to a knee injury, scored and had
two assists, Johan Franzen had a goal and Jimmy Howard posted 22 saves for the
Red Wings, who moved into eighth place in the Western Conference with 70
points, one ahead of Calgary.
"We had a team meeting and we told ourselves that we had to make a decision
that we needed to play better to get in [to the playoffs]," said Detroit head
coach Mike Babcock. "We can't lose one and then win one. We have to dig in and
have the will and determination to get it done."
Tonight Babcock will try to lead his team to its first three-game winning
streak since it won four straight from December 11-17.
The Red Wings have won both of their meetings with the Canucks this year,
including a 3-1 home win on November 12. Howard made 31 saves and Henrik
Zetterberg had the game-winning goal for Detroit, which has won three straight
and seven of its last 10 over Vancouver. The Red Wings have also won two
straight and four of their last five at home over the Canucks.
Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo has been in net for both losses to Detroit
this year and will face Babcock for the first time since the two won gold
together for Team Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Babcock was the head
coach of the squad, while Luongo helped Canada beat the American team in
overtime in Sunday's championship match.
Though the Canucks haven't played at home since January 27, the Vancouver fans
still got to see plenty of Luongo over the previous two weeks. He won five
games after replacing Martin Brodeur as the starting netminder and posted a
1.76 goals-against average.
Luongo was rested by the Canucks in last night's 4-3 overtime win versus the
Columbus Blue Jackets, a victory that moved Vancouver two points ahead of
Colorado for first place in the Northwest Division. Instead, Andrew Raycroft
made his first start since February 12 and halted 27 shots.
Christian Ehrhoff scored the winner 1:33 into OT, putting home a Ryan Kesler
missed shot from in close. Kesler extended his point streak to six games (2
goals, 4 assists) with the helper.
"I just went with the guys and joined the play," Ehrhoff said about his game-
winning goal. "It kind of took a good bounce for me and I just put it on net
and the goalie wasn't there."
Kyle Wellwood and Alexandre Burrows each registered a goal and an assist for
Vancouver, which split the first eight games of its epic road trip before the
break. Vancouver improved to 15-15-1 on the road this year and doesn't return
home until March 13.
03/03 10:50:25 ET