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Wings fly west to Anaheim

by Adam Schwartz
There are just 3 games Wednesday in the NHL, but there figures to be plenty of excitement, particularly when the Detroit Red Wings square off against the Anaheim Ducks at 10 p.m. ET in a rematch of the 2007 Western Conference Finals.

In addition to the Detroit-Anaheim game, the New Jersey Devils look to get back on track after losing 2 in a row when they play host to the 3-3-3 Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m. ET, RIS, TSN), and the Dallas Stars look to climb up the Pacific Division standings when they play the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss, the Minnesota Wild.

Here's what to watch:

* Toronto, which is in fourth place in the Northeast Division, is 1 of just 3 teams with 3 shootout losses this season. The Maple Leafs, who have scored just 20 goals, the fewest in the division, have given up 28, the most goals in the division.

* Maple Leafs left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky, who is second on the team with 7 points, has just 1 road point this season. Ponikarovsky, who has never had more than 24 assists in a season, is on pace to record 45 this season.

* New Jersey left wing Zach Parise, who led the team with 65 points last season, already has 5 more points than any other New Jersey skater. Parise, who has 5 goals and 9 points in 12 career games against the Maple Leafs, is second among Devils forwards with an average of 18:43 of ice time per game.

* Defenseman Bryce Salvador, who was acquired by the Devils for Cam Janssen last February, leads the team with 16 blocked shots. Salvador, who has been paired with Paul Martin, is averaging the second-most ice time on the team, 22:59 minutes per game.

* The Wild, who are in first place in the Northwest Division with 13 points, have a perfect 3-0 road record. Minnesota, which is coached by defensive mastermind Jacques Lemaire, has given up just 14 goals in 7 games, the fewest goals in the League.

* Minnesota left wing Benoit Pouliot, selected No. 4 in the 2005 Entry Draft, has 3 points in 7 games while averaging just 11:34 of ice time per game. It's an increase from the 8:49 he averaged in 11 games last season.

* Wild defenseman Brent Burns, who had a combined plus-28 rating in his previous 2 seasons, has a minus-3 rating in 7 games this season. Burns, who has scored more than 7 goals just once in his career, has 2 goals in 7 games this season.

* The Stars, who have 3 players averaging more than a point per game, have given up the most goals in the League with 38. Dallas, which is 1 of just 2 teams that hasn't played a divisional game, has given up the first goal in 6 of their first 9 games this season.

* Dallas captain Brenden Morrow, who is tied for the team lead with 10 points, has a goal and 4 assists in his last 2 games. Morrow, who has a minus-6 rating in the Stars' 6 losses this season, was second on the team with 15 points in the Stars' 18-game run to the Western Conference Finals last season.

* Red Wings right wing Marian Hossa has been held pointless in just 1 game this season. Hossa, who has 4 goals and 6 points in his last 3 games, has at least 5 shots on goal in 6 games.

* Detroit left wing Tomas Holmstrom, who had 6 goals in his first 6 games this season, hasn't scored in his last 3 games. Holmstrom, who played with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk in last season's playoffs, has a minus-8 rating in 36 career games against Anaheim.

* The Ducks, who are riding a 4-game win streak, don't have a player averaging a point per game. Anaheim, which was 1 of just 3 Western Conference teams to reach 100 points last season, got off to a slow start to this season, losing 5 of its first 6 games.

* Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf, who had just 1 assist in his first 6 games this season, has 3 goals and 5 points in his last 3 games. Getzlaf, who plays alongside Corey Perry, played a season-high 20:54 Monday in the Ducks' 3-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
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