The Detroit Red Wings ended their longest losing streak of the season, but they'll still have to deal with a big loss.
Beginning an extended period without star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, the Red Wings look to sweep the season series from the Calgary Flames when the teams meet at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Friday night.
|The Red Wings look to sweep the season series against Jarome Iginla, right, and the Flames tonight but they will have to do it without the services of captian Nicklas Lidstrom, left, who injured his right knee against Colorado on Monday. (AP PHOTO/CP, Jeff McIntosh) Canada
The Wings (42-15-5) won 4-0 at Colorado on Monday to snap a six-game losing streak. If the NHL leaders are to start stringing together victories again, however, they'll have to do it without Lidstrom, the five-time Norris Trophy winner who's expected to miss at least three weeks.
Lidstrom, who has seven goals and 50 assists, injured his right knee when he was checked into the boards on a legal hit from the Avalanche's Ian Laperriere.
"I was hoping for something shorter, but right now they are saying three weeks," Lidstrom told the team's official Web site.
Lidstrom is the latest player to join a growing Detroit injury list. Goaltender Dominik Hasek (hip) and defenseman Brian Rafalski (sprained right knee) were recently placed on injured reserve.
Despite the loss of another top player, the Red Wings look to build on their first victory since Feb. 5 as they play the third game of a five-game road trip. Despite its slump, Detroit's 89 points are 10 more than the next-closest team, Dallas.
Detroit scored one more goal Monday than it did in its previous three games. Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and Chris Osgood made 18 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, snapping a personal four-game losing streak in the process.
Osgood had been pulled from his previous two starts after giving up a combined seven goals.
"Things were going so well for four months," said Osgood, who has a 1.72 goals-against average in winning his last four starts against Calgary. "I wasn't expecting that to keep up the entire season. But then I wasn't expecting it to be that bad for two games. It evens out and it gets you back in the swing of things."
Zetterberg, Detroit's leader with 35 goals, scored for the first time in six games Monday. He has three goals and an assist versus the Flames this season.
Detroit has outscored Calgary 13-6 in three meetings in 2007-08 and goes for its first season sweep of the Flames since winning all three contests in 1991-92. Pavel Datsyuk had two goals and an assist in Detroit's 5-3 home win Nov. 27 in the teams' most recent matchup.
Calgary (31-22-8) returns home after a 3-2 win at Dallas on Wednesday closed out a 3-2-0 trip. It was the second straight victory for the Flames after being outscored 10-5 in consecutive losses to Los Angeles and Anaheim.
"We had two bad games there, but this makes it a positive finish," said Flames forward Jarome Iginla, who scored the winner with 2:27 left in the third period for his third goal in two games.
Alex Tanguay added two goals for Calgary, which is in playoff position in the crowded Western Conference race. The performance snapped a 16-game goal drought for Tanguay, who has one in each of his last two contests against Detroit.
Though Curtis Joseph made 29 saves Wednesday for his first win with the Flames, Miikka Kiprusoff should be back in goal Friday to try for his first win in four starts versus Detroit this season.
Kiprusoff has a 4.61 GAA against the Red Wings in 2007-08.