RED WINGS (6-4-2) at CANUCKS (9-4-1)
TV: TSN, FS-D
Last 10: Detroit 4-4-2; Vancouver 6-3-1
Season series: This is the first of two matchups between these former Western Conference foes. The Detroit Red Wings are 3-0-2 in their past five against the Vancouver Canucks, although the Canucks won the most recent encounter, 2-1 in a shootout on April 20.
Big story: Detroit and Vancouver are meeting as interconference foes for the first time since 1980-81, and the two perennial powers are headed in opposite directions of late. The Red Wings are looking to avoid a fifth straight loss as they open a four-game road swing at Rogers Centre, while Vancouver is looking to close out October with its fifth straight victory.
Red Wings: After a promising start to the season, little has come easy for the Red Wings over the last four games. Detroit has gone 0-2-2 with losses to the Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators and, on Saturday, the New York Rangers. The Rangers – suffering from early-season issues of their own – dominated much of the action, and only the outstanding play of goaltender Jimmy Howard (37 saves) kept the Red Wings in it. Derick Brassard scored with 13 seconds left in overtime to give New York the victory.
“Something has to be done about it,” Howard said after the game. “It’s just believing in each other and not trying to do too much, let guys do their jobs. It’s frustrating. We lost with 12 seconds left in overtime. Once again we didn’t really play 60 minutes and lost.”
Canucks: The Canucks, to a man, have had no problems doing their jobs. Vancouver has won four in a row and is 6-1-1 in its past eight – seven of which came on the road – grinding out three overtime or shootout victories during that stretch. Back on home ice Monday against the Washington Capitals, the Canucks emerged victorious in yet another one-goal contest. The loaded top line of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler combined for four points, including the tying and go-ahead goals early in the third period.
"They had the puck a lot," coach John Tortorella said. "[Kesler] did a lot of forechecking for them and winning battles. Danny's goal was just puck possession, and I haven't seen a goal like that in quite a while."
Who’s hot: Daniel Sedin has three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. He also has four goals and an assist in his past four against the Red Wings. … Despite the loss to the Rangers, Howard bounced back after being pulled against Ottawa three days earlier for conceding three goals on eight shots. Howard started all five contests in the 3-0-2 run against the Canucks.
Injury report: Detroit forward Johan Franzen (undisclosed) will miss the game. Center Darren Helm (partially torn disc in his lower back) is on injured reserve along with defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (upper body). … Canucks forward David Booth (lower body) will miss 1-2 weeks. Forwards Dale Weise (lower body), Jannik Hansen (upper body) and Jordan Schroeder (sprained ankle) are on injured reserve.
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