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Red Wings look to get untracked against Avalanche

by Paul Harris

AVALANCHE (11-13-8) at RED WINGS (17-8-8)


DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have finally hit a bump in the road. Their five-game losing streak (0-2-3) is their first slump of the season.

"It happens every year," Detroit coach Mike Babcock told after practice Saturday. "I don't know if it's part of the success disease, a little complacency when you get to feeling good about yourself and you come off a little bit. The League's all the same. I don't know if that's it. I don't know if you haven't got the breaks.

"I don't buy into that stuff. Just do it right."

The Red Wings (17-8-8) face the Colorado Avalanche (11-13-8) on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit has scored five goals in its five-game losing streak, and twice at even strength in its past 342:46.

"We need more shooting and more scores," Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk said. "Last few games we [haven't] scored much. It's hard to win when you score one [goal]. It's a little bit of tough time, frustrated, but we need to stick together and keep playing.

"We start being a little more casual maybe. We need to shoot more, follow rebounds … We got to go to net hard, I think we just need more shots. Trying to make a better play for a shot just doesn't work … Everybody needs to play harder, especially me."

Colorado is off a 5-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday in Buffalo.

"Our forwards, I thought spreading out our offense helped out a lot," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy told "We had like four good lines tonight, and they all played well."

Here are the projected lineups:


Maxime Talbot - Matt Duchene - Nathan MacKinnon

Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Daniel Briere

Alex Tanguay - John Mitchell - Jarome Iginla

Cody McLeod - Marc-Andre Cliche - Patrick Bordeleau

Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson

Nate Guenin - Tyson Barrie

Brad Stuart - Zach Redmond

Calvin Pickard

Reto Berra

Scratched: Borna Rendulic, Nick Holden

Injured: Jesse Winchester (concussion), Semyon Varlamov (groin)


Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader

Tomas Tatar - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Jurco

Gustav Nyquist - Darren Helm - Johan Franzen

Daniel Cleary - Luke Glendening - Drew Miller

Jonathan Ericsson - Niklas Kronwall

Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser

Brendan Smith - Jakub Kindl

Petr Mrazek

Tom McCollum

Scratched: Joakim Andersson, Brian Lashoff

Injured: Stephen Weiss (shoulder), Jimmy Howard (lower body)

Status update: Roy juggled his lines Saturday in Buffalo. The Mitchell-Tanguay-Iglinla line totaled three goals in that game. Datsyuk and Zetterberg were reunited with Detroit slumping.

Who's hot: Mrazek was spectacular in two periods with 22 saves in relief of Howard in Detroit's 2-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Friday.

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