NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 23rd
(All times Eastern)
Vancouver Canucks (38-16-6) at Detroit Red Wings (41-18-2), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After getting pushed below the .500 mark on the road in
their last game, the Detroit Red Wings will try to extend the longest home
winning streak in NHL history when they host the Vancouver Canucks at Joe
Louis Arena in tonight's clash between first-place teams.
The Red Wings wrapped a perfect 6-0 homestand with Sunday's 3-2 win over San
Jose. It was the 23rd straight win in the Motor City for the Red Wings, who
haven't lost at home since Nov. 3 against Calgary. Before Sunday's game,
Detroit already owned the league's longest home winning streak within a season
and now also holds the record for most consecutive wins as the host over
Detroit enters tonight with a five-point lead over St. Louis for first in the
Central Division and the Red Wings are just two points in front of Vancouver
for the top seed in the West. The Canucks will try to get back in the win
column tonight after getting dealt their first regulation loss in over a month
in Nashville on Tuesday.
Vancouver has lost two of three and four of its last six games in Motown and
the Red Wings recorded a 2-0 decision when the clubs last met at the Joe on
Oct. 13. Detroit has claimed two of three so far in this year's four-game
season series and the Wings have won four of their last six overall meetings
against the Canucks.
The Red Wings lost their third straight road game Tuesday in Chicago, as
Marcus Kruger recorded the winner early in the third period to lift the
Blackhawks to a 2-1 decision at the United Center. Corey Crawford also stopped
31 shots to frustrate Detroit and drop the Red Wings' road record to 15-16-1
on the season.
Valtteri Filppula notched a first-period goal for the Red Wings, while Jimmy
Howard made his first start since February 2 and lost despite making 27 saves.
Howard had been sidelined with a broken finger and fell to 32-12-1 on the
"We just couldn't find a way to get a couple past Crawford," Howard said. "It
was another great game."
Prior to the game, the Red Wings announced that forward Pavel Datsyuk will
miss at least the next two weeks following right knee surgery. Datsyuk is
Detroit's leading scorer this season with 59 points on 16 goals and 43
The Canucks had recorded four straight wins and were 10-0-3 in their previous
13 games before dropping Tuesday's 3-1 decision in the Music City. Pekka Rinne
made 32 saves to anchor the Predators in the win.
Vancouver, which leads the Northwest Division by 15 points over Calgary, was
trying to match its season-high win streak of five games, but fell behind 2-0
in the second period and never recovered. Roberto Luongo gave up three goals
on 28 shots in the loss and Dale Weise scored the only Vancouver goal.
Tonight marks the third stop on a six-game road trip for the Canucks, who are
20-10-2 as the road team this season.
The Canucks hope to get Keith Ballard back tonight from an upper-body injury.
The defenseman has sat out the last seven games due to the ailment and is
questionable tonight. Forward Byron Bitz is also questionable after missing
the last two games with a hip problem.
02/23 10:32:35 ET