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Red Wings-Coyotes Preview

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GAME: Detroit Red Wings (40-14-5) at Phoenix Coyotes (28-28-4).

TIME: Saturday, 9 p.m. EST.

The Turin Olympics may have cost the Detroit Red Wings a win on Wednesday, but they got back on track in their last outing.

The Red Wings face the Phoenix Coyotes following a solid 2-0 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Thursday.

Detroit lost 5-1 to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday while awaiting the return of the five Swedish players who were part of the gold medal-winning team at the Olympics.

The Red Wings' six-game winning streak came to an end with Niklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson and Niklas Kronvall still en route from a national celebration in Sweden.

Holmstrom and Zetterberg returned to the lineup and scored in a 46-second span in the first period, and Chris Osgood made 24 saves in Thursday night's shutout.

"I was kind of surprised that the legs felt pretty good," said Zetterberg, who with his Swedish teammates endured a 30-hour trip from Stockholm. "I was right back in it and played a lot in the first period. That helped me get into the game."

Pavel Datsyuk extended his point streak to five games with an assist on Holmstrom's goal. Datsyuk, who leads Detroit with 68 points, has two goals and seven assists during that span.

Thursday's win marked the third time in six games that the Red Wings have held an opponent scoreless. They won 3-0 at Colorado on Feb. 4 and 6-0 at home against Nashville on Feb. 8.

The Coyotes ended a four-game losing streak with a convincing 6-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday. The victory was their first since news of the gambling probe involving assistant coach Rick Tocchet broke on Feb. 7.

"I think the break really helped us," Coyotes left wing Geoff Sanderson said. "We were on a losing streak going into the break and it was good timing for us to get away from the game. We had a great week of practice and I don't think there was doubt in anyone's mind that we were going to play well tonight."

Sanderson and Shane Doan each scored twice for the Coyotes. Both of Sanderson's goals came on the power play, as did one of Doan's.

Phoenix took advantage of 10 power-play chances and scored three times with the extra man against the Stars.

Sanderson broke a scoreless tie with 1:33 left in the first period, Steve Reinprecht made it 2-0 just 61 seconds later and the Coyotes took a 3-0 lead before the Stars got on the board.

"It's nice to smile tonight," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We're in a tough spot. We know that."

The Coyotes are 12th in the Western Conference, with Minnesota, division rivals San Jose and Anaheim, and Edmonton standing between them and the eighth and final playoff berth.

Phoenix defeated the Red Wings 4-1 in the last meeting on Nov. 5, but the Coyotes have just three wins in the last 19 games between the teams.

STANDINGS: Red Wings - 85 points, 1st place, Central Division. Coyotes - 60 points, 5th place, 19 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Zetterberg, 27 goals; Datsyuk, 47 assists and 68 points; Chris Chelios, 90 PIM. Coyotes - Mike Comrie, Doan and Sanderson, 19 goals; Doan, 26 assists and 45 points; Sean O'Donnell, 121 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Red Wings - Power play: 23.4 percent (78 for 333), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.6 percent (290 for 339), 4th. Coyotes - Power play: 18.1 percent (73 for 403), 16th. Penalty killing: 81 percent (308 for 380), 21st (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Manny Legace (25-7-2, 5 SO, 2.08 GAA); Osgood (14-5-3, 2, 2.78). Coyotes - Curtis Joseph (23-16-2, 2, 2.91); Philippe Sauve (3-4-0, 3.41).

SEASON SERIES: 1-1.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 5; Coyotes, 4-1. At Detroit, Joseph stopped 36 shots and the Coyotes scored four power-play goals.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 20-6-3 on the road; Coyotes - 16-14-3 at home.

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