Devils-Red Wings Preview
GAME: New Jersey Devils (13-10-2) at Detroit Red Wings (18-8-2).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Home has not been a friendly place recently for the Detroit Red Wings.
Detroit will try to avoid being swept on its three-game homestand when they face the New Jersey Devils.
The Red Wings enter this contest having won just three of their last 10 games, but they have fared well against the Devils. Detroit has won six in a row at Joe Louis Arena from New Jersey since a 2-0 loss on Nov. 6, 1996.
Detroit is coming off a 2-1 loss Sunday to the New York Islanders. Mathieu Schneider, a former Islander, scored the lone goal for the Wings, giving him five in four games.
"I thought most of the night we did a good job," Schneider said. "At times I thought we played into their hands and turned the puck over at center ice. We had a lot of shots on net, we had a lot of opportunities. We just didn't bury them and that was the difference."
The Red Wings' league-best power-play unit went 0-for-4 after scoring nine times in the previous five games.
Rookie goaltender Jimmy Howard, who won his NHL debut on Nov. 28 against Los Angeles, started for the third straight game. He turned aside 26 shots to drop to 1-2-0, but has allowed just seven goals in those games.
Howard inherited the starting job after Manny Legace was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 27 with a knee sprain. Chris Osgood, who returned to Detroit this season after last playing with the Red Wings in 2000-01, has been relegated to backup duty for now.
Jason Williams had an assist against the Islanders, extending his points streak to six games. He has two goals and nine points over that span.
New Jersey is looking for its fifth win in six games. Viktor Kozlov scored the game-winner in shootout during a 3-2 win Saturday over the Minnesota Wild.
"Every shootout is a stressful situation," Kozlov said. "It's a lottery, especially against the good goalies in this league. I just try to not think too much and just go by what's happening."
Kozlov also scored in regulation, giving him two goals and five assists in his last five games.
After a stretch earlier this season when he lost four straight games, goaltender Martin Brodeur has looked like his old self. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner has allowed just nine goals in his last five starts.
He is just 1-6-0 with a 3.01 goals-against average in seven games at Detroit.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 5): Devils - 28 points, 3rd place, 11 PB, Atlantic Division. Red Wings - 38 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Brian Gionta, 16 goals and 28 points; Scott Gomez, 14 assists; Jamie Langenbrunner, 30 PIM. Red Wings - Brendan Shanahan, 15 goals; Williams, 22 assists; Pavel Datsyuk and Williams, 30 points; Chris Chelios, 60 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 5): Devils - Power play: 19.4 percent (28 for 144), 8th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (109 for 128), tied for 5th. Red Wings - Power play: 24.8 percent (40 for 161), 1st. Penalty killing: 84.8 percent (145 for 171), 7th.
GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (11-8-0, 0 SO, 3.06 GAA); Scott Clemmensen (2-2-2, 3.32). Red Wings - Howard (1-2-0, 2.36); Osgood (4-2-2, 3.25).
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 29, 2004; Red Wings, 5-2. At Detroit, Tomas Holmstrom and Schneider each had a goal and an assist, and Curtis Joseph made 31 saves.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 5-6-1 on the road; Red Wings - 9-5-1 at home.