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Ducks-Red Wings Preview @NHLdotcom

After rolling through the competition for most of this season, the Detroit Red Wings haven't been as sharp lately.

For the defending champions to get back on track, they'll have to cool off the surging Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena on Monday night.

Detroit (15-4-4) collected at least a point in seven of its first eight November contests (7-0-1), but has since posted a 1-2-1 mark - a stretch capped by a 4-1 loss at Boston on Saturday.

The Red Wings registered 30 shots, but only Jiri Hudler's second-period power-play goal, which was actually a deflection off of a Boston player's skate, got past goaltender Manny Fernandez.

"They're a good team and they're well-coached and they're organized and their goalie was on," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Their goalie made some huge saves."

Detroit boasts the second-best offense in the Western Conference with 82 goals, but has scored just nine times in its last four games.

That unit will likely face another challenge Monday as Anaheim (14-8-3) has yielded just three goals in winning its last four contests - its longest streak since a five-game run from Oct. 21-29.

With veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere dealing with a personal matter in his native Montreal, the Ducks have succeeded behind Jonas Hiller.

He has stopped 93 of 95 shots, recorded two shutouts and posted a .979 save percentage during a career-high personal three-game winning streak.

On Sunday, Hiller made a season-high 36 saves, including 17 in the second period, to lead the Ducks to a 4-1 victory at Carolina.

"He stood on his head in the second period and made some huge saves and kept us in the game," said center Rob Niedermayer, who scored twice. "They really took the play to us there. He is a big reason we were in the game."

Hiller has never faced Detroit, but is 5-0-0 with a 1.39 goals-against average and a .954 save percentage in his last seven appearances. Giguere returned to the team Sunday, but it would be hard for coach Randy Carlyle to start the veteran with the way Hiller has played lately.

Another catalyst recently for Anaheim has been center Ryan Getzlaf, who has four goals and eight assists during an eight-game point streak. Getzlaf had a career-high five assists in the Ducks' 5-4 overtime win over the Red Wings on Oct. 28, and has four goals and 11 assists in his last nine contests versus Detroit.

After Ty Conklin struggled in the loss to Boston, Babcock likely will start Chris Osgood on Monday. Osgood is 12-3-1 with two ties and a 2.64 GAA in 18 career games against Anaheim despite losing his last two matchups.

The Red Wings, who are 1-2-1 in their last four games against the Ducks, hope to establish some positive momentum during a stretch of four straight games at home, where they are 5-2-2 thus far.

Marian Hossa leads Detroit with 26 points, half of that production coming in nine home games. He has eight goals and four assists in 13 career contests versus the Ducks.

Anaheim boasts an impressive 7-2-1 road record this season, but is 2-7-2 in Detroit since March 19, 2002.

EA SPORTS NHL09 Game Predictions
Anaheim 3
Detroit 2
Three Stars
G: 1 | A: 1

G: 1 | A: 0

G: 1 | A: 0


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