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Oilers, Red Wings meet tonight

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers look to avenge last weeks loss to the Detroit Red Wings tonight on Rexall Place ice as the Wings come to town for the second time this season.

On November 8, the Oilers came to Joe Louis Arena and the Red Wings shut them down to the tune of 3-0. It was a role reversal from October 21 when the Oilers iced the Wings 3-1.

Following that October loss to the Oilers, the Wings fell to 3-4-1 on the season but since that time theyve caught fire and rattled off an impressive nine-game winning streak before falling to the Flames last night. The Wings' previous loss before that came at Rexall Place to the Oilers.

Both teams should be fired up tonight and the added stage of it being on Hockey Night in Canada should only add to the entertainment value.

OILERS TO WATCH: Through two games versus Detroit, Joffrey Lupul has two points (one goal, one assist) against the Red Wings. Steve Staios and Petr Sykora are the only other Oilers with goals, while Daniel Tjarnqvist, Ladislav Smid, Ryan Smyth and Patrick Thoresen each have one assist With 50 penalty minutes, Staios is ranked fourth in the league and tops on the Oilers but 31 of those 50 minutes have come in the past two meetings with Detroit.

RED WINGS TO WATCH: With a goal and an assist, Pavel Datsyuk is the only Red Wing with more than one point this season against the Oilers through two games. Dan Cleary, Jiri Hudler and Henrik Zetterberg each have one goal while Mikael Samuelsson, Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom and Kirk Maltby each have one assist Lidstrom is the only defenceman in the league right now leading his team in scoring. He has 15 points through 17 games.

ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton – Ethan Moreau (shoulder) is out; Ryan Smyth (knee) is questionable. Detroit – Jason Williams (concussion) is questionable. Chris Osgood (wrist) is out. Tomas Holmstrom (groin) is questionable. Niklas Kronwall (groin) is questionable.

MACDONALD GETS THE NOD: Red Wings rookie netminder Joey MacDonald will be getting his first career NHL start tonight. In his only previous NHL appearance, he allowed two goals on 15 shots in 45 minutes of action coming in relief of Chris Osgood on October 19 against San Jose.

WINGS' SPECIAL TEAMS NOT SO SPECIAL: Despite having the second-best record in the Western Conference and just coming off a nine-game winning streak, the Detroit Red Wings have one of the lower-ranked special teams in the NHL. Their power play ranks tied for 29th in the NHL at 10.3% and their penalty killing is tied for 26th at 79.2%.

FAST FACTS: In each of the first two meetings between these teams, neither team scored in the opening period Both the Oilers and Red Wings do the most damage in the third period. Edmonton has 22 of their 55 goals in period three, while Detroit has 21 of their 48 markers in the final frame... Jarret Stoll leads the Oilers with four game-winning assists Ryan Smyth has registered points in seven of his last nine games (nine goals, two assists) including four goals in his last two games.

The Oilers next game is Tuesday night when the Calgary Flames come to town. Game time is 7:00 p.m. MST.
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