Skip to main content

Red Wings look to rebound, retake top spot in West

By Jeff Mezydlo

Stats Senior Writer

Detroit (48-16-9) at Edmonton (35-28-9), 9:30 pm EDT

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- A rare road loss in their last game

kept the Detroit Red Wings from moving back into the top spot in

the Western Conference.

The Red Wings have another chance to get there Tuesday night

when they conclude a three-game trip by trying to sweep the

season series from the Edmonton Oilers.

Detroit (48-16-9) had its four-game winning streak snapped with

a 5-3 loss on Monday at Calgary. The result also ended the Red

Wings' road winning streak at five, and kept them one point

behind San Jose for first place in the West.

The Red Wings and Sharks continue to go back and forth for the

top spot in the West and home-ice advantage throughout the

conference playoffs. After this contest, Detroit plays just two

of its final eight games on the road where it is 22-11-5 this


Despite their latest setback, the Red Wings could still be in

good shape to bounce back. Though the Oilers are seventh in the

West, they have been outscored 16-6 in three losses to Detroit

this season.

Detroit, which hasn't swept a season series from Edmonton since

1995-96, won 8-3 at home on Feb. 7 in the last meeting between

the teams who could possibly face off in the first round of the


Marian Hossa had a goal and assist and Niklas Kronwall added

three assists for the Red Wings in that contest. Kronwall had

two assists and Hossa one while Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk

scored in the loss to Calgary.

Kronwall has one goal and four assists in two games against the

Oilers this season. Datsyuk, meanwhile, looks to extend his

point streak to nine games after recording a goal in his third

straight contest Monday.

Datsyuk is one goal shy of matching his career high of 31 from

last season, and has two and one assist versus Edmonton in


Chris Osgood was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots

against the Flames.

"You just move on and play the next game," Osgood said.

Though he had started the last five games for Detroit, Osgood is

likely to give way to Ty Conklin in this contest.

Conklin made 11 saves and allowed a goal in relief of Osgood to

fall to 24-9-2 with a 2.44 goals-against average. A former

Oiler, Conklin is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA against Edmonton this

season, and made 21 saves in a 4-0 victory on Nov. 17.

The Oilers had their three-game winning streak snapped in a 3-0

loss at Minnesota on Sunday to conclude a three-game road trip.

Edmonton outshot the Wild 15-2 in the first period and finished

with 31 shots, but was stymied by All-Star Niklas Backstrom

after combining for 13 goals in its previous two games.

"You hate to see the 30-plus shot shutouts. That means you're

getting pucks to the net," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said.

"If you're committed enough there you should be able to get some


Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves, but has allowed seven goals in his

last two contests. He is 26-18-9 with a 2.75 GAA in 2008-09 -

but 0-2-0 with an 8.01 GAA against Detroit.

Edmonton's Sam Gagner scored four goals in his previous two

games prior to Sunday, but has been held scoreless against the

Red Wings this season.



NHL Hot Seat Radar: Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have a deep team, but injuries in the crease plagued them last year. If the Hurricanes are going far this year, they'll need Frederik Andersen to stay healthy, at the very least.


From the Archives: The Post-War Return of Pre-War NHL Aces

World War 2 had ended and pre-war aces returned to their respective NHL teams. One of them was left wing Lynn Patrick whose father, Lester, managed the Rangers, who said Lynn's "legs were done." Turns out, he wasn't far off.

Sonny Milano

NHL Free Agency: Top 5 Best Bargains Still Available

In a league with very little cap space left to work with, it's peculiar to see so many names without homes this deep into the summer. Here's a look at five players who could bring nice bang for your team's buck.