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Friday, March 5th (All times eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (35-19-8-4) at Detroit Red Wings (38-17-9-2), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Two of the top teams in the Western Conference face off this evening, as the Vancouver Canucks head into Motown to battle the Detroit Red Wings.

The Red Wings lead the Western Conference with 87 points and Vancouver is in fourth with 82. The Canucks are also just one point behind Colorado for first place in the Northwest Division.

Detroit has won three straight contests, including Wednesday's 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. Henrik Zetterberg and Mark Mowers both scored to lead Detroit to the win at Joe Louis Arena.

Manny Legace made 28 saves for the Red Wings.

Detroit, which improved to 6-1-1 in its last eight overall, has won all three meetings with Calgary this season and six of the last seven in the series.

On the injury front, Red Wings forward Kris Draper missed the game with a rotator cuff injury. He collided with goaltender Curtis Joseph during a pre- game skate Wednesday morning. Draper, who has surprisingly tallied 24 goals this season, is expected to miss roughly a month.

Detroit, which has won five consecutive home games, completes its four-game stand on Monday night.

Meanwhile, the Canucks and the Avalanche skated to a 5-5 tie in a key Northwest Division battle at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

Vancouver received goals from five different players. Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison each notched a goal and two assists, while linemate Todd Bertuzzi assisted on a trio of tallies.

The other three markers were all scored by defensemen, as Brent Sopel, Marek Malik and Mattias Ohlund lit the lamp for the Canucks, who saw a three-game win streak come to an end, but still remained unbeaten in four contests.

Dan Cloutier turned aside 29 shots between the pipes for Vancouver in the stalemate.

The Canucks play the middle test of a three-game road trip tonight and will complete the swing Saturday in Columbus.

Vancouver has won two straight and three of the last four meetings. However, the Red Wings are 18-6-4 in the previous 28 matchups and have just two losses in the last 13 meetings at Joe Louis Arena (10-2-1).

03/05 10:19:34 ET


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