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Red Wings-Mighty Ducks Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Detroit Red Wings (39-14-5) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (27-19-11).

TIME: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

The San Jose Sharks faced the Detroit Red Wings at the right time. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks won't be as lucky.

On a night several key players from the gold medal-winning Swedish Olympic team are scheduled to return, the Red Wings try to add to their league-best point total when they play the Mighty Ducks at Arrowhead Pond.

Detroit has 83 points - one more than Carolina - and leads the Central Division by nine points over second-place Nashville.

However, the Red Wings felt the aftereffects of sending 10 players to Turin, by having to play the Sharks on Monday minus five players.

Nicklas Lidstrom, who scored the game-winner Sunday versus Finland to earn Sweden its first Olympic gold medal since 1994, joined Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Holmstrom and Niklas Kronwall in a victory celebration Monday in Stockholm.

The five have combined for 76 goals and 116 assists this season. Without them, the Red Wings saw their six-game winning streak come to an end in a 5-1 loss to the Sharks.

San Jose put the game away in the third, scoring three of its franchise-record five power-play goals in a 3:12 span against one of the league's best penalty-killing units.

Goaltender Manny Legace, who entered with an NHL-best 2.08 goals-against average, allowed more than four goals for the first time this season.

"For any team, it's tough if you take five key guys out of the lineup," Legace said. "That's no excuse, no excuse at all. We were in the game until the 10-minute mark (of the third period). I've just got to make saves on penalty kills. I didn't tonight and it cost us."

Legace is 8-1 with one tie and a 1.98 GAA against Anaheim in his career.

The Mighty Ducks went on a 6-2-1 run before the Olympic break to move within three points of Edmonton for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Anaheim began a five-game homestand with a 4-1 victory against Chicago on Feb. 12. Dustin Penner and Corey Perry scored third-period goals to back goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who made 24 saves.

"We can go into the break feeling pretty good about ourselves," Giguere said before the Olympics. "We have been playing well as of late. We put ourselves in a position where in March and April, we can battle for a playoff spot."

Andy McDonald extended his point streak to 11 games with an assist. He has totaled five goals and 13 assists in that span.

Leading scorer Teemu Selanne recorded points in 17 of 18 games leading up to the break. He was tied with Saku Koivu for the scoring lead at the Olympics with 11 for silver medal-winning Finland.

STANDINGS: Red Wings - 83 points, 1st place, Central Division. Mighty Ducks - 65 points, 3rd place, 14 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Zetterberg and Brendan Shanahan, 26 goals; Pavel Datsyuk, 46 assists and 67 points; Chris Chelios, 90 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Teemu Selanne, 26 goals and 54 points; McDonald, 34 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 134 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Red Wings - Power play: 23.7 percent (77 for 325), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.3 percent (286 for 334), 3rd. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 16.8 percent (57 for 340), 21st. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (307 for 366), 10th.

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Legace (25-7-2, 5 SO, 2.08 GAA); Chris Osgood (13-5-3, 1, 2.91). Mighty Ducks - Giguere (16-8-10, 2, 2.66); Ilya Bryzgalov (11-11-1, 1, 2.53).


LAST MEETING: Nov. 25; Mighty Ducks, 3-1. At Anaheim, Calif., McDonald scored the Mighty Ducks' first goal and set up Selanne's game-winner midway through the third period.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 19-6-3 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 17-8-4 at home.

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