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Red Wings, Ducks meet for first time since playoffs

Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 4:58 PM

DUCKS (23-7-5) at RED WINGS (15-11-9)

TV: PRIME, FS-D

Last 10: Anaheim 7-1-2; Detroit 4-4-2

Season series: This will be the first of two games between the former Western Conference foes, since the Detroit Red Wings headed to the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division. It's also the first time the Red Wings have faced the Anaheim Ducks since upsetting them in a seven-game Western Conference Quarterfinals series to start the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Big story: Detroit is winless in its past five games, posting an 0-3-2 record in the span, and has massive injury problems. Anaheim is cruising along with five straight wins and 51 points to lead the Pacific Division and trail only the Chicago Blackhawks (53 points) for first overall in the NHL standings.

Team Scope:

Ducks: Dustin Penner's game-winning goal with 3:17 left in regulation lifted Anaheim to a 3-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday and improved the Ducks' record at Honda Center to 13-0-2, their best home start in franchise history.

Penner's goal, assisted by Ryan Getzlaf, resulted in the first points of the game for Anaheim's top line, which includes right wing Corey Perry. The Ducks had three off days between games that might've contributed to the unit's early rust.

"Maybe we weren't mentally sharp as we had been in the past," Penner said. "We had a lot of days off. That's not an excuse, but maybe that's why. We still have to be better. The team depends on us."

Red Wings: Detroit has center Pavel Datsyuk back from a seven-game absence following a concussion, but the Red Wings are still without captain Henrik Zetterberg (back), goalie Jimmy Howard (sprained knee), defenseman Danny DeKeyser (shoulder) and three other forwards, including Johan Franzen (concussion protocols). Franzen left Detroit's game Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning early in the second period after being hit in the face by defenseman Radko Gudas. Forward Gustav Nyquist will also be sidelined Tuesday with a groin injury.

Rookie Tomas Jurco, Detroit's second-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut against the Lightning and the Red Wings will likely call up center Riley Sheahan from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League to replace Franzen.

"Normally, and I say this all of the time, someone else gets an opportunity," coach Mike Babcock said, according to Ansar Khan of MLive.com. "We're running out of guys to get opportunities."

Who's hot: Getzlaf has six goals and 17 points in a 14-game point streak that's the longest in the NHL this season and has a personal point streak that spans 16 games. … Red Wings rookie goalie Petr Mrazek has allowed only two goals on 40 combined shots in two starts this season.

Injury report: Anaheim could get forward Jakob Silfverberg (hand) back, but is without defensemen Sheldon Souray and Luca Sbisa (torn hand tendon) and goalie Viktor Fasth (muscle inflammation). Defenseman Francois Beauchemin (upper body) is listed as day-to-day. … Aside from Zetterberg, Howard, DeKeyser, Nyquist and Franzen, Detroit is also missing forwards Justin Abdelkader (concussion), Stephen Weiss (groin) and Darren Helm (shoulder/groin).

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