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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 Wings.

"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 Thursday's win.

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


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