RED WINGS (17-4-2) at KINGS (14-10-0)
TV: FS-D (HD), FS-W (HD)
Detroit 8-1-1; Los Angeles 3-7-0
First of four meetings on the 2010-11 schedule. They split their games last season, Detroit winning the first two and Los Angeles answering back. Henrik Zetterberg
of the Red Wings led all scorers with 3 goals.
Chris Osgood won his only start against the Kings last season, and he'll be in the net Saturday for his first start since Oct. 30 against Nashville. Osgood had been sidelined with a groin injury and Jimmy Howard
started every game and played all but 20 minutes while his veteran backup was on the mend.
Howard more than earned his night off by stopping all 41 shots he faced Friday to blank Anaheim 4-0 for the second time this season -- Detroit won by that same score on opening night, one of its two home victories over the Ducks during the month of October. The Red Wings asserted their dominance on the road this time, getting a goal by Johan Franzen
1:09 into the game and building the lead behind scores from Tomas Holmstrom
, Danny Cleary
and Valtteri Filppula
"I've felt good out there," Howard said, "but I'm excited to watch Ozzie tomorrow night."
Back at the Staples Center to begin a four-game homestand, Los Angeles snapped a four-game losing streak Tuesday by edging Florida 3-2 behind third-period goals from Peter Harrold and Anze Kopitar
. The Kings had dropped seven of eight overall to fall out of first place in the Pacific Division.
"When you win, it puts everybody in a good mood," alternate captain Matt Greene
said. "It's been a while, coming into the locker room and having the music playing and not dreading seeing (the media). It's a good feeling to finally get a win.
"Those are the games that are going to break you through a slump. You're trying, and you have some adversity, and you've got to work through your goals. I think tonight we did that. It's just a great feeling, finally breaking through in that third (period) there."
Cleary has goals in three-straight games for the Red Wings. Filppula has 3 goals and 3 assists during a four-game points streak. Pavel Datsyuk
has 1 goal and 5 assists during a three-game points streak. … Kopitar has 3 goals in his last five games for the Kings.
Detroit expects to activate forward Kris Draper (sports hernia) off injured reserve for Saturday's game, which would leave Mike Modano (wrist) as its only player out of the lineup. … Los Angeles defenseman Willie Mitchell
(wrist) and forwards Alexei Ponikarovsky (hand) and Scott Parse
(hip) are on injured reserve.
Howard has an NHL-leading 15 wins and started 14 consecutive games while Osgood was out. … Kings goalie Jonathan Quick
lost his first five career decisions against the Red Wings but has won the last two.
Los Angeles returned 19-year-old Brayden Schenn, the No. 5 pick in the 2009 Entry Draft, to his junior team Friday after he picked up 2 assists in eight NHL games and was scratched for 16 other games. Schenn will build more experience playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League and undoubtedly be back with the Kings next season.
"The most important thing, for all young players, is to be able to play without the puck," coach Terry Murray said. "It's the reads, it's the reaction to the game whenever you're in your D-zone or the opposition has the puck. If you get those instincts in place, those reads down to a consistent level, the other part takes care of itself.
"You're going to have the puck more and you're going to be able to put points on the board. That's something that Brayden Schenn should not even worry about, the offensive part of it, because that's ingrained. He has it. He has great skill."