Wild-Red Wings Preview
GAME: Minnesota Wild (8-7-2) at Detroit Red Wings (14-2-1).
TIME: Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Tomas Holmstrom has found his scoring touch playing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. The Detroit Red Wings hope the unit continues to click as they face the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena.
Holmstrom's best goal total in a season was 20 in 2002-03, but he appears well on his way to setting a new career high. The left wing scored his seventh and eighth goals as the Red Wings posted a 5-4 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.
Holmstrom, whose physical style and play in front of the net complements the speed and skill of his linemates, has seven goals in his last four games after scoring one in the first 13.
"Just give the puck to Hank (Zetterberg) or Pavel and go to the net," Holmstrom said. "... It's lots of fun on our line now."
Goaltender Manny Legace returned to the lineup after missing three games with a sprained knee and made 37 saves. He looked sharp in turning aside 28 of 29 shots the first two periods, but allowed three third-period goals that sent the game to overtime before Robert Lang scored 1:39 into the extra period.
The Red Wings have the league's best power play at 25.2 percent, but they've converted only one of 16 chances the past three games.
Minnesota had its two-game winning streak ended in a 4-2 loss to Phoenix on Tuesday. Dwayne Roloson was pulled after a three-goal first period, and Manny Fernandez may get the start Friday after stopping seven of eight shots the final two periods.
"I think we gave them about six odd-man rushes and they scored four goals on them," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We played well, except for a few little mistakes."
The Wild, though, continue to struggle offensively without left wing Marian Gaborik. He has missed eight games with a groin injury, and Minnesota has gone 3-4-1 despite scoring just 14 goals.
The Wild have the top penalty-killing unit in the NHL at 92.1 percent, and have allowed one goal in 20 short-handed situations over the past three games. Minnesota has given up four power-play goals in 48 chances on the road.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 10): Wild - 18 points, 4th place, 4 PB, Northwest Division. Red Wings - 29 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Wild - Brian Rolston, 8 goals; Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Alexandre Daigle, 9 assists; Bouchard, 14 points; Derek Boogaard, 39 PIM. Red Wings - Brendan Shanahan, 9 goals; Jason Williams, 14 assists; Datsyuk, 20 points; Chris Chelios, 64 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 10): Wild - Power play: 19.3 percent (17 for 88), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 92.1 percent (94 for 102), 1st. Red Wings - Power play: 25.2 percent (27 for 107), 1st. Penalty killing: 87.6 percent (92 for 105), 3rd.
GOALTENDERS: Wild - Roloson (3-5-1, 1 SO, 2.39 GAA); Fernandez (5-2-1, 1.82). Red Wings - Legace (10-1-0, 2, 1.76); Chris Osgood (3-1-1, 2.33).
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 2-0-2.
LAST MEETING: March 29, 2004; Red Wings, 5-3. At Detroit, Ray Whitney had two assists and Brendan Shanahan had a goal and assist for the Red Wings, who outshot the Wild 38-24. Daigle had two goals for Minnesota.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 3-4-2 on the road; Red Wings - 7-2-1 at home.