(SportsNetwork.com) – The Detroit Red Wings will try to record their first
three-game winning streak of the season when they visit the New Jersey Devils
for Friday’s clash at Prudential Center.
The Red Wings posted recent home wins over Ottawa and Philadelphia, giving
Mike Babcock’s club its fourth set of consecutive victories this season.
Detroit hasn’t won three in a row since a four-game run from March 29-April 4
of last season.
After holding for a 4-3 win over Ottawa on Monday, the Wings had a much easier
time beating the Flyers in Wednesday’s tilt at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit scored
three times in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory over Philadelphia,
as Pavel Datsyuk celebrated his return to the lineup with a pair of goals.
Datsyuk, who had missed the previous four games due to a groin injury, notched
his sixth and seventh goals of the season. Despite missing half of Detroit’s
games this season due to injury, the Russian star is still tied for third on
the team with 13 points in only 11 contests.
Stephen Weiss added a goal and assist for the Red Wings, winners in five of
their last seven. Tomas Jurco and Henrik Zetterberg also lit the lamp and
Darren Helm picked up a pair of assists to back a 22-save effort by Jimmy
“We stuck with it … and had a good second period like the last game,” said
Weiss. “The second period’s been setting us up nicely.”
Detroit, which is 4-3-3 as the road team this season, has won two straight,
five of seven and nine of its last 12 games against the Devils. The Red Wings
also have won three times in their past five trips to New Jersey.
The Devils enter Friday having lost two straight, four of five and eight of
their last 11 games. New Jersey recently went 1-2-1 on a four-game road trip,
with the only victory coming last Friday in Edmonton.
New Jersey is 3-3-2 at home this season, but the club is only at the
Prudential Center for one night before beginning a three-game road trip
Saturday against the New York Islanders.
The Devils were blanked in their most recent setback, dropping a 2-0 decision
Tuesday evening in Vancouver. Ryan Miller stopped all 20 shots sent his way to
record the shutout for the Canucks, while New Jersey goaltender Cory Schneider
made 34 saves in a losing effort against his former team.
“I thought he was excellent,” said Devils head coach Peter DeBoer of
Schneider. “He came and gave us a chance to get through the first 10 minutes
and find our legs.”
Schneider, who has started 21 of New Jersey’s 22 games this season, could get
the call again tonight. He is 9-9-2 with a 2.56 goals against average this
season, but is 1-4-0 with a 3.46 GAA in his career against Detroit.