(SportsNetwork.com) – The Detroit Red Wings pulled off a thrilling comeback
victory in their last trip to the ice and Mike Babcock’s club will aim for a
3-0 start to a lengthy road trip when it visits the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
The Red Wings entered a six-game swing with three straight losses, but have
picked up victories beyond regulation in Chicago and Dallas. Detroit, which
sits third in the Atlantic Division with 76 points, has won four of five road
tilts in February and is 16-9-3 as the guest this season.
After posting a 3-2 shootout victory Wednesday night in the Windy City, the
Wings stormed back for Saturday’s wild 7-6 overtime decision over the Stars.
Niklas Kronwall provided the deciding marker 36 seconds into overtime as
Detroit rallied from 4-2 and 6-4 deficits to record the comeback victory.
Pavel Datsyuk tallied two goals — including the game-tying score with 1:48
remaining in regulation — and two assists, Jakub Kindl lit the lamp twice,
Gustav Nyquist and Kronwall each had a goal and an assist and Justin
Abdelkader also scored for the Red Wings.
Jimmy Howard made 26 saves, but did not get the victory. Jonas Gustavsson came
on in relief after Howard yielded the sixth goal midway through the third
period and the backup netminder only needed to make two saves the rest of the
way to record the win.
Howard will get the start tonight and is 9-4-1 with a 2.08 goals against
average in his career versus the Ducks.
The Red Wings will continue their trip with a stop tomorrow in Los Angeles.
Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg left Saturday’s game with an upper-body
injury after getting hit in the head by Dallas forward Jamie Benn, who was
given two minutes for roughing on the play. Zetterberg, who is leading the Red
Wings with 34 assists and 49 points, is questionable for tonight’s game, as is
fellow forward Teemu Pulkkinen. The rookie from Finland suffered a leg injury
in the first period against Dallas.
The Ducks also have won straight after posting a dismal 1-4-1 mark over their
past six games.
Anaheim, which holds a 10-point lead atop the Pacific Division standings,
swept a two-game road trip over the weekend, notching wins in Calgary and
Bruce Boudreau’s club beat Calgary, 6-3, on Friday before edging the Edmonton
Oilers by a 2-1 count the following night. Ryan Getzlaf scored the game-
winning goal midway through the third period to help Anaheim record the
regulation win over the Oilers.
Francois Beauchemin also scored and John Gibson made 26 saves for the Ducks.
Kyle Palmieri had a pair of assists in the victory to help Anaheim push its
record in one-goal games to 25-0-7.
“Our record in one-goal games proves that we have a lot of character,” said
Boudreau. “It’s something we’re proud of. Hopefully we’ve gotten out of this
With regular No. 1 Frederik Andersen sidelined recently with a head injury,
Gibson has started the last five games for the Ducks. Andersen could return
tonight, possibly in a reserve role after the club placed backup Ilya
Bryzgalov on waivers Sunday.
Bryzgalov has posted a 1-4-1 record and 4.19 goals against average in eight
games for the Ducks this season and hasn’t seen the ice since starting on Feb.
10 in Florida. He was pulled from that game after allowing three goals on
Anaheim is 19-8-3 as the host this season, but has lost two straight at the
Honda Center. The Ducks are playing the first of three in a row as the host
and also welcome Ottawa and Los Angeles during the residency.
Detroit has lost three straight and five of its last seven meetings with the
Ducks overall, but has claimed three of the past five encounters in Orange