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Red Wings aim to avenge earlier loss to Coyotes

by Sean McCullen /

RED WINGS (6-2-0) at COYOTES (4-3-1)


Season series: This is the second meeting of the season between the Phoenix Coyotes and Detroit Red Wings. The Coyotes beat the Red Wings 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 10. Detroit won two of three games against Phoenix last season.

Big story: Detroit enters the game as one of the stingiest teams in the NHL, allowing just 2.25 goals per game, good for fifth in the League. The Coyotes have allowed 2.88 goals per game, which ranks 23rd in the League.

The former Western Conference foes now play each other twice each season, with Detroit moving to the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference this season under the NHL's realignment.

Team Scope:

Red Wings: Detroit has won four in a row, including its past three with backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson in for injured Jimmy Howard, since losing to Phoenix on Oct. 10.

Gustavsson has posted a 1.67 goals-against average and .953 save percentage in his three starts. He had 38 saves in Detroit's 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.

"You've got to give [Gustavsson] credit. He could win first star three nights in a row," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the win in Denver. "I thought he played great."

But the win was costly for Detroit. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall sustained a concussion on a hit from behind by Colorado forward Cody McLeod.

Coyotes: Phoenix will play its second game in as many nights, the second of 12 back-to-back sets for the team this season. The Coyotes lost to the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in a six-round shootout at Honda Center Friday night.

Phoenix squandered a 2-1 lead with 2:02 left to play when Nick Bonino scored for the Ducks on what Coyotes coach Dave Tippett called a "fluky goal." Jakob Silfverberg scored in the sixth round of the shootout to win it for Anaheim.

"It's frustrating because you know there [were] plays that we had the puck on our stick in our own zone and we couldn't clear the zone," Tippett said. "Even though it was a fluky goal that went in, you still gotta take care of your business to push the game along, and we weren't able to do that late."

The Coyotes lost to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday in their return to Arena following a five-game road trip. They blew a two-goal second-period lead before losing 4-3 to Ottawa in overtime.

Who's hot: Pavel Datsyuk scored twice Thursday for Detroit against the Avalanche. He now has four goals and 10 points in eight games. … Mike Ribeiro, signed as a free agent by Phoenix last summer, has points in five straight games (one goal, four assists) after picking up the secondary assist on the Coyotes' first goal Friday night. Rob Klinkhammer has three goals in the Coyotes' past three games.

Injury report: Kronwall (concussion) is out. Howard (bruised hand) has been day-to-day since the middle of the week but could get the start in goal. … The Coyotes report no injuries. Defenseman Derek Morris returned to the lineup Friday after he missed the game on Tuesday with a lower-body injury that also cost him a game earlier.

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