Coyotes-Red Wings Preview
GAME: Phoenix Coyotes (6-8-1) at Detroit Red Wings (12-1-1).
TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Detroit Red Wings knew they would lose eventually.
Undaunted, they play the Phoenix Coyotes and hope to bounce back from just their second loss of the season.
The Red Wings had their franchise record-tying nine-game winning streak end with a 4-3 overtime defeat to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. With the overtime point, the Red Wings became the fifth team in league history to score 25 points through 14 games.
"You knew it was going to happen sooner or later," said Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood, who made 21 saves in his third start of the season.
Top netminder Manny Legace strained his left knee Tuesday in a win over the Chicago Blackhawks when Matthew Barnaby fell on his leg.
"Thanks to Mr. Matthew Barnaby, I will not be playing ... the weekend," Legace said. "It's a day-to-day thing."
Detroit has the top-ranked power play in the NHL converting 28.5 percent of its opportunities. The Red Wings also lead the league in penalty killing with 91.4 percent efficiency, yielding just seven goals in 82 opportunities.
The Red Wings high-powered offense boasts three of the NHL's top-30 point leaders in Jason Williams (18 points), Pavel Datsyuk (17) and Henrik Zetterberg (15), while six other players have at least 10 points.
Williams scored a power-play goal 8:05 into the third period to tie the game 3-3. Tomas Holmstrom scored the other two goals, and Datsyuk recorded two assists.
"I thought we were really going to play," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "At times we did."
Veterans Brandon Shanahan and Steve Yzerman have played well against the Phoenix/Winnipeg franchise. Shanahan has scored 69 points in 62 games to rank seventh all-time, while Yzerman has 65 in 57, good for 10th.
Phoenix had added incentive in its 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. Stung by coach Wayne Gretzky's post-game tirade Sunday, the Coyotes responded with one of their best performances of the season as defenseman Paul Mara had a goal and two assists.
"Our work ethic was a lot better, and our thirst to get and want the puck was tremendous," Gretzky said. "The flow of our game was going towards their net instead of coming our way. I thought it was a tremendous job."
Curtis Joseph made a season-high 36 saves to earn his second shutout of the season and is seventh with a 2.26 goals-against average. But Joseph is 11-17-7 with a 3.29 GAA lifetime against the Red Wings, with whom he played from 2002-04.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 4): Coyotes - 13 points, 5th place, 5 PB, Pacific Division. Red Wings - 25 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Mike Leclerc, 6 goals; Mara, 10 assists and 13 points; Tyson Nash, 40 PIM. Red Wings - Shanahan, 8 goals and 23 PIM; Williams, 13 assists and 18 points.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 4): Coyotes - Power play: 18.6 percent (19 for 102), 14th in NHL. Penalty killing: 79.0 percent (64 for 81), 23rd. Red Wings - Power play: 28.5 percent (26 for 91), 1st. Penalty killing: 91.4 percent (75 for 82), 1st (tied).
GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Joseph (5-4-0, 2 SO, 2.26 GAA); David Leneveu (1-4-1, 0, 3.33). Red Wings - Osgood (2-0-1, 0, 2.55); Legace (10-1-0, 2, 1.76).
SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 15; Red Wings, 2-0. At Phoenix, Zetterberg and Datsyuk each scored for the Red Wings, and Legace made 23 saves for his first shutout of the season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 2-6-0 on the road; Red Wings - 6-1-1 at home.