NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 4th
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (12-13-2) at Detroit Red Wings (14-7-7), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The streaking Detroit Red Wings take aim at fifth
consecutive victory when they host the Philadelphia Flyers in Wednesday's
battle at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings were mired in a seven-game losing streak from Nov. 4-19, but
they've since won five of six tilts. Detroit has posted wins in each of its
last four outings to match a season-high winning streak, but the club will
have to get by without its two best offensive players if it wants to make it
five straight on Wednesday.
Detroit posted all four of its wins during the current hot streak without
Pavel Datsyuk in the lineup and the star forward is expected to miss a fifth
straight test tonight due to a concussion suffered on Nov. 23. Then, on
Tuesday, the Red Wings announced that Henrik Zetterberg is joining Datsyuk on
the shelf as the Swedish centerman is expected to miss at least the next two
weeks with a herniated disc in his back.
Zetterberg is leading Detroit in scoring this season with 30 points on 11
goals and 19 assists. Datsyuk, meanwhile, is first in goals (12) and second in
Even without Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the lineup, the Red Wings have a
considerable amount of series history going in their favor on Wednesday.
Detroit is 16-1-0 with two ties in its last 19 regular-season home games
against Philadelphia and has taken two of three and nine of the past 15
The Flyers visited Detroit earlier this season and were handed a 5-2 setback.
Zetterberg scored twice in the third period, while Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall
each added a goal and two helpers in the win.
Detroit is coming off Sunday's emotional road win in Ottawa, as Drew Miller
scored twice to help the Red Wings record a 4-2 decision in Daniel
Alfredsson's long-awaited return to his former hockey home. A former Ottawa
captain, Alfredsson spent his first 17 seasons as a member of the Senators
before leaving Canada's capital to sign a free-agent deal with Detroit this
Alfredsson picked up an assist and an empty-net goal in 16:33 of playing time
Sunday in front of a sellout crowd, which gave him a standing ovation during a
pre-game video tribute.
"The result makes it a lot sweeter," Alfredsson said. "But if we would have
lost, for me personally, I think it would still have been a night I'll always
Alfredsson was held off the scoreboard in his first game against the Sens, a
6-1 loss at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 23. An injury then caused him to miss
another 4-2 home defeat against the Sens on Nov. 23.
Johan Franzen also lit the lamp on Sunday and Jonas Gustavsson made 30 saves
to record the win.
Jimmy Howard is expected to get the call in net for Detroit on Wednesday. He
is 1-1-0 with a 3.00 goals against average in two career games against the
Philadelphia will try to bounce back tonight after having a two-game win
streak halted in Monday's shutout loss at Minnesota. It marked the third time
the Flyers were blanked this season and the first time since a 3-0 setback
against New Jersey on Nov. 7.
Josh Harding made 21 saves to subdue the Flyers' offense on Monday, while
Jason Pominville and Charlie Coyle scored 57 seconds apart in the third period
to account for the 2-0 margin.
Ray Emery finished with 19 saves for Philadelphia, which has split its first
two stops on a six-game road trip. The Flyers fell to 5-6-2 as the road team
"Their game plan is to limit chances against. It's kind of like a New Jersey-
type game, where you just got to stay patient with them and not give them
anything," Emery said.
The Flyers played Monday without forward Vincent Lecavalier, who is dealing
with back spasms and could sit out a second straight tilt tonight. Lecavalier
is in his first season with Philadelphia and the former longtime Tampa Bay
Lightning star is leading the Flyers with nine goals.
Steve Mason expects to start in net for Philadelphia on Wednesday. The former
Columbus netminder has played in 20 career games -- all starts -- against
Detroit and is 8-10-2 with a 2.84 GAA in those outings.
12/04 10:31:30 ET