Ducks Look to Carry Momentum into Detroit
DUCKS (3-4-1) at RED WINGS (4-1-1)
TV: KDOC (HD), FS-D (HD)
This will be the second of four meetings this season. The Red Wings took on the Ducks in their season opener and claimed a 4-0 victory. Mike Modano tallied his first goal in a Red Wings sweater, while Jimmy Howard stopped all 21 shots.
Anaheim is in the midst of a four-game road trip, which started in Columbus Wednesday night. After dropping that game, 3-1, the Ducks bounced back with a hard-fought win over the Flyers and will look to carry that momentum into Joe Louis Arena. Detroit, conversely, is on a four-game homestand and riding a two-game winning streak after defeating Calgary, 4-2, Thursday night.
After playing every game of the season so far, Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller
had a night off Thursday. Hiller has posted a 2-4-1 record this season with a .911 save percentage. What sticks out is his 3.45 goals-against average, so the break in action could help. Fortunately for the Ducks, Hiller was spelled more than admirably by backup Curtis McElhinney
, who stopped 40 shots in only his 12th game with the team in two seasons.
"It felt great," McElhinney said. "There were some nerves early on, and a couple of rebounds that got away from me. As the game went on, I felt more comfortable. Everybody collapsed well and did a tremendous job in front of me. It was an all-around great effort from everybody."
Detroit has gotten off to a solid start on its homestand with the win over Calgary. With a 4-1-1 record, the Red Wings have a chance to finish the month of October strong and solidify a position atop the Western Conference standings.
A balanced attack has led to the team’s success, as Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen have all steadily contributed through six games, while Howard is continuing a strong sophomore season with a 3-0-1 record, 1.69 GAA and .942 save percentage.
Bertuzzi currently leads the Red Wings in scoring with the help of three multi-point efforts in the past five games. In that span, Bertuzzi has collected 7 points. … Meanwhile, Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf
has collected all 10 of his points in the past five games, including a 4-point effort against Vancouver.
Ducks’ rookie defenseman Cam Fowler
is questionable for Saturday’s game, as he is recovering from a broken nose and stiff neck. … The Red Wings might be without the services of Bertuzzi (undisclosed), while Justin Abdelkader is probable with a rib injury.
In Chris Osgood’s two games this year, the veteran netminder has posted a 3.03 GAA and .860 save percentage, while Howard has posted strong numbers, solidifying himself as the clear No. 1.
After picking up an assist against the Flyers on Thursday night, Teemu Selanne
moved into a tie with Hall-of-Famer Jean Ratelle for 34th place on the NHL career list with 1,267 points.