NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 26th
(All times eastern)
Minnesota Wild (36-32-6) at Detroit Red Wings (37-23-13), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings will aim to tie their longest winning
streak of the season when they welcome the Minnesota Wild for tonight's clash
at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit is holding onto the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western
Conference and has picked an excellent time to go on a hot streak. The Red
Wings have won three straight, six of seven and 10 of their last 13 games.
The Red Wings set their season-best winning streak with four straight
victories from Dec. 11-17.
Detroit was in action Wednesday against visiting St. Louis and dealt the Blues
a 4-2 setback. Valtteri Filppula scored the go-ahead goal with 6:49 to play in
the third period and he also added an empty-netter in the waning moments.
Henrik Zetterberg joined Todd Bertuzzi with a goal and an assist for the Red
"Tonight was probably the toughest game for us in a while," said Detroit head
coach Mike Babcock. "We didn't have much energy, mentally or physically. I was
impressed by how the guys found a way to win."
Jimmy Howard, a Calder Trophy candidate as the league's top rookie, made 30
saves to notch his 30th win of the season.
Howard is expected to get his 21st straight start tonight. The club record for
consecutive starts by a rookie goalie is owned by Roy Edwards, who got the
call in 23 straight games during the 1967-68 campaign.
This evening's test marks the end of a three-game homestand for Detroit, which
is 21-10-5 as the host this year.
Minnesota's chances of making the postseason are slim as the club enters
tonight trailing Detroit by nine points for the final playoff berth.
The Wild certainly didn't hurt their postseason dreams on Thursday as they
outlasted the host Flyers in an overtime victory. Kyle Brodziak's score at
2:33 of OT sent Minnesota to the 4-3 win over Philadelphia at Wachovia Center.
Brodziak took a hard wrister from the bottom of the left circle, which
deflected off the crossbar, then onto the back of Brian Boucher, who
accidentally knocked it back into the net while scrambling to cover.
Marek Zidlicky, Martin Havlat and Andrew Brunette scored for the Wild, who
rallied from two goals down to post their second win in five contests.
Niklas Backstrom got the win with a 32-save performance.
"We didn't start well, but the second period we played much better. They kind
of stopped playing after they got the lead," Havlat admitted. "I think it was
great, and good for us and we kind of got back into the game and battled hard
until the end."
The Wild still have a dreadful 12-22-3 road record this season despite
Detroit has taken two of three from the Wild this year and has won nine of the
last 12 encounters between the clubs. Minnesota has also dropped three
straight and six of its last seven in the Motor City.
03/26 10:46:17 ET