Ducks Open Eight-Game Road Trip at Detroit
Thursday, 02.09.2012 / 5:55 PM
DUCKS (21-24-8) at RED WINGS (36-17-2)
TV: NHLN-US (HD), NHLN-CA, PRIME (HD), FS-Detroit
LAST 10: Anaheim 7-2-1; Detroit 7-2-1
Season Series: This will be the third of four games between the Ducks and Red Wings, with Detroit taking the first two meetings by a combined score of 9-2. The Wings prevailed 4-2 on Nov. 20 at the Honda Center thanks to a pair of goals by defenseman Brad Stuart and won 5-0 on Nov. 5 at Joe Louis Arena keyed by two goals from defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
Big Story: Anaheim opens a season-long, eight-game, 15-day road trip against the rival Red Wings. The Ducks will be looking to snap Detroit's 18-game home winning streak, which dates back more than three months. Anaheim is one of the hottest teams in the NHL since January though, going 11-3-2 since the calendar flipped to 2012. That ranks third in the league over that period, behind only Nashville and Detroit.
Ducks: Anaheim is coming off 3-2 home wins against the Calgary Flames on Monday and Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. The Ducks downed the Flames in a shootout and then earned two points against Carolina in overtime on a goal by Corey Perry just seconds after he got tangled up with Jussi Jokinen behind the Hurricanes net. It was Anaheim's third straight game that went to extra time and helped send the Ducks off on a season-long eight game road trip on a high note.
"They didn't blow the whistle so you keep playing," Perry said of his overtime goal against Carolina. "We've had calls against us all year, and maybe that's a turning point for us. It was huge. You look where we are in the standings. You look at what we've done the last month. Every point counts for us. It doesn't matter who it's against or what, but we needed it for the road trip. We didn't want to go on the road trip on a losing note. Eight games is a long way, and it can make or break our season here."
Red Wings: Against the Oilers on Wednesday, the Red Wings coughed up a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Edmonton's red-hot Sam Gagner, then came back with a late flurry to earn the win in regulation - getting goals from Drew Miller and Henrik Zetterberg in the last half of the third period. Miller tapped home a loose puck in the crease after a mad scramble in the blue paint for the eventual game-winner, which was his fourth goal in the past five games. Zetterberg's goal was his first in nine games and just his second in the last 24 contests. This game against Anaheim, however, will include the storyline of forward Tomas Holmstrom playing his 1,000th game in a Red Wings uniform - making him just the sixth player in franchise history to log that many games wearing the Winged Wheel.
"Tommy's a huge part of our team emotionally with his battle level and his grit and his determination," coach Mike Babcock said. "His attitude is infectious in the room. He's a great man, so it's good to see. Fantastic for him."
Who's Hot : Teemu Selanne has 3 goals and 2 assists in Anaheim's past five games, while goalie Jonas Hiller is 8-2-2 in his last 12 starts for the Ducks. … Aside from Miller's hot streak (4 goals in the last five games), Zetterberg and Johan Franzen both have points in three straight contests - including goals against Edmonton on Wednesday - for Detroit.
Injury Report : Anaheim backup goaltender Dan Ellis has missed 13 games with a groin injury, while Patrick Eaves (injured reserve/fractured jaw), Danny Cleary (knee) and Jimmy Howard (fractured finger) are out for Detroit.