NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 28th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (17-11-5) at San Jose Sharks (15-11-6), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The surging Detroit Red Wings will take aim at a fourth consecutive victory when they complete a four-game road trip Thursday night at San Jose's HP Pavilion.
By going 3-0 at the start of this swing, the Red Wings have matched their longest winning streak of the season. Detroit also won three in a row from Feb. 7-10, but last won four straight during a six-game streak from Feb. 8-19 of last season.
The Red Wings are after their 22nd straight playoff appearance and posting wins in five of their last six games certainly hasn't hurt those chances. Detroit is currently seeded fifth in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings.
After notching a pair of road wins at Anaheim, which had won 13 straight on home ice before the two-game series at Honda Center, the Red Wings notched Monday's 3-2 decision in Arizona. Pavel Datsyuk scored the winner early in the third period to lead Detroit to the close victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the third, Detroit went ahead on the power play after Henrik Zetterberg took a feed from Datsyuk and went in down the left wing. Zetterberg skated around the net and sent it to the left side where it hit off a Coyote before Datsyuk gathered the puck and snapped it in at the 6:12 mark.
"We're doing a lot of good things even though we don't score on each and every one, it definitely feels like we've got some things going," Datsyuk said.
Johan Franzen and Ian White also scored while Niklas Kronwall added two assists for the Red Wings. Jonas Gustavsson made 29 stops in the win, but regular starter Jimmy Howard is expected to be back between the pipes tonight.
Detroit is 9-5-3 on the road this season. The Red Wings will play their next two games on home ice after completing their swing in San Jose.
The Red Wings recorded a 2-1 shootout win at San Jose on Feb. 28 in the first of three scheduled meetings between the clubs this season. The victory halted Detroit's three-game slide at the Shark Tank and the was the Red Wings' second win in the last three encounters with the Sharks.
San Jose has claimed six of eight overall in this series.
The Sharks enter Thursday with wins in two straight and three of their last four outings. The recent surge has pushed San Jose into a tie with St. Louis for the final two playoff seeds in the West.
San Jose picked up a shutout win Wednesday against visiting Anaheim. Antti Niemi stopped all 22 shots he faced and Tommy Wingels added a career-high three points to help the Sharks win 4-0 and sweep a home-and-home series from the Ducks.
Niemi recorded his second shutout of the season and 21st of his career, while Wingels led the offense with a goal and two assists.
Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns scored early in the first period for the Sharks, who also took a 5-3 decision in Anaheim on Monday.
"We were crisp," said San Jose captain Joe Thornton. "We know we got to win some games to get to postseason. Every game is going to be so important. We looked sharp early on. It paid off for us."
Wednesday's contest kicked off a season-high seven-game homestand. The Sharks are 9-1-4 as the host this season and will continue the residency Saturday against Phoenix.
03/28 11:04:17 ET