(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings seek just their second winning streak
of the season on Saturday afternoon when they open up a four-game homestand
against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Red Wings snapped a two-game slide with Thursday's 5-1 victory in St.
Louis. Five different Detroit skaters scored and 20-year-old Petr Mrazek made
26 saves to win his NHL debut.
Cory Emmerton had a goal and an assist, while Daniel Cleary, Jakub Kindl,
Damien Brunner and Valtteri Filppula also lit the lamp. The effort put Detroit
in position to win two straight for the first time since Jan. 29-Feb. 1.
"I thought we got good minutes out of all of our guys tonight," Detroit head
coach Mike Babcock said.
Mrazek, meanwhile, was recalled from the minors on Monday to give No. 1 Jimmy
Howard his first rest of the season. Howard had started the first nine games
of the season, going 4-4-1 with a 3.07 goals against average and .892 save
Backups Jonas Gustavsson (strained groin) and Joey MacDonald (back) are both
The Red Wings also will be without forward Todd Bertuzzi on Saturday, as the
veteran is nursing an ailing back. Babcock told reporters Friday that he
wasn't certain how much time Bertuzzi would miss, though he was ruled out for
the matchup with the Oilers.
Bertuzzi has totaled two goals and one assist with a plus-three rating in
seven games this season. The 38-year-old had sat out Detroit's first three
contests with flu-like symptoms.
Detroit seems likely to open its residency with at least a point. The Red
Wings have won eight of the past nine meetings with the Oilers while gaining a
point in 22 of the last 23 encounters (15-1-7).
Edmonton has lost five straight in Detroit.
The Oilers will try to snap that skid and their four-game overall losing
streak on Saturday. Three of those defeats have come after regulation,
including Wednesday's 3-2 overtime defeat against the Dallas Stars.
Ales Hemsky had a goal and an assist, while Justin Schultz also lit the lamp
for the Oilers. Devan Dubnyk gave up all three goals on 28 shots and Sam
Gagner had an assist to give him a goal and three helpers over a 10-game point
streak to open the season.
"We have to rectify that problem of not putting teams away," said Hemsky. "I
thought we played well tonight and did a lot of good things, but we had
chances that we didn't put away and let them get back into the game."
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did not play against the Stars due to a shoulder injury
suffered against the Vancouver Canucks last Monday. He is expected to return
for this game, while defenseman Mark Fistric is also nearing a return from a
back injury. Forward Ben Eager (concussion) could also suit up for the first
time since Jan. 20.
Nugent-Hopkins' return is a boost given that fellow centers Shawn Horcoff
(broken knuckle), Eric Belanger (broken toe) and Anton Lander (bruised foot)
are all out with injuries. Lander was hurt versus the Stars.
Edmonton is set to play back-to-back games on the road as it visits Columbus
The Sports Network