By Alan Ferguson
Philadelphia (37-21-10) at Detroit (46-15-9), 7:30 pm EDT
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings made NHL history in their
The Philadelphia Flyers’ last victory in Detroit seems like
The Red Wings seek to extend a run of home dominance in this
series that lasts more than two decades and try to stay atop the
Western Conference Tuesday night by taking advantage of an
inconsistent Flyers’ offense.
With Sunday’s 5-0 victory in Columbus, Detroit reached 100
points for a league-record ninth consecutive season and clinched
a 17th straight postseason berth.
Chris Osgood stopped 23 shots for his second shutout in four
starts and his second straight win since allowing seven goals in
an 8-2 home loss to the Blue Jackets eight days earlier.
“Anytime you’re embarrassed it is (motivation),” Red Wings coach
Mike Babcock said. “They’re big boys, they’re smart. They were
up for the game. They suffered humiliation, just like anybody
else. We needed to respond here today.”
Should he start Tuesday, Osgood would enter with a 90:52 shutout
streak and try to keep the Red Wings ahead of San Jose in the
West. Detroit is currently one point in front of the Sharks, who
play at Phoenix later Tuesday night.
“It seems like every (year) we end up in the same spot,” said
Osgood, who is 8-5-0 with a 2.74 GAA in 13 career games against
Philadelphia. “We’ve got a good core, a good group of guys. We
know how to fight through adversity. We know how to deal with
the pressures of playing in Detroit. We always know in the end
that we’re going to be there and give ourselves a good chance to
win in the end.”
The Flyers haven’t won in Detroit since November 4, 1988, going
0-13-0 with two ties in their last 15 trips to Joe Louis Arena –
the NHL’s longest active road winless streak by one team against
an opponent. This is the Flyers’ first trip to Detroit since
January 12, 2006.
“I know we don’t come in here very often, but hopefully (it’s) a
little motivation to try to get a win against a very good
Detroit team,” Flyers coach John Stevens told the team’s
official Web site.
Philadelphia is currently trying to hang on to fourth place in
the East, leading Pittsburgh by two points. The Flyers have
split their eight games in March, scoring four or more goals in
each of the wins and one or fewer in each defeat.
They couldn’t convert a home-and-home sweep of the New York
Rangers after Saturday’s 4-2 home victory, falling 4-1 on Sunday
at Madison Square Garden.
Simon Gagne and Mike Richards are both currently riding
seven-game point streaks, but Jeff Carter, who has a
team-leading 38 goals, has scored only twice in the last nine
The Flyers are trying to avoid losing consecutive games for the
first time this month, and their first consecutive regulation
losses since January 31 and February 4. After Antero Niittymaki
struggled in Sunday’s loss, the Flyers will likely turn to
Martin Biron, who is 3-1-0 with a 1.76 GAA in his last four