Avalanche-Red Wings Preview
The Detroit Red Wings not only got throttled in their latest game, but they're also suddenly dealing with injuries to two veteran forwards.
The statuses of captain Henrik Zetterberg and Mikael Samuelsson are unknown for the Red Wings' attempt to avoid a third straight defeat Monday night against the Colorado Avalanche, losers in 11 straight on the road.
Detroit (17-13-5) returned home Sunday after a 3-1-0 road trip that featured back-to-back victories over Pacific Division-leading Anaheim, but endured a miserable 7-1 loss to rival Chicago.
"We didn't play hockey (today) whatsoever. It's tough when you spot them a few goals right away from the start," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "You dig a big hole for yourselves and we couldn't find a way to get back. It was embarrassing at times."
Even worse, the Red Wings scratched Zetterberg after warmups because of a lower-body injury, and Samuelsson left with an upper-body ailment after returning from a 19-game absence due to a broken finger.
"(Injuries) shouldn't have an effect. Those are excuses. We put our uniform on today, and we didn't compete hard enough," coach Mike Babcock said. "We let ourselves down."
The Red Wings will try to bounce back against Colorado (12-18-4), which is mired in one of the longest road losing streaks in team history. The Avalanche, 0-8-3 in their last 11 road games, lost a franchise-worst 18 straight away from home as the Quebec Nordiques from Jan. 18-April 1, 1990.
Colorado is also 2-8-0 in its last 10 overall but snapped a four-game skid with a 1-0 overtime victory over Nashville on Saturday. Defenseman Tyson Barrie scored his second NHL goal 50 seconds into the extra period, and Semyon Varlamov stopped 34 shots in his third shutout of the season.
"We know we've been sliding, but I thought we played pretty good," Barrie said. "We played pretty good in our (previous) game in Vancouver, and we carried it over. ... I thought we played really well defensively and (Varlamov) was outstanding."
The Avalanche lost this season's only previous meeting with Detroit 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena on March 5. Colorado has dropped four of six in Detroit but won 4-3 there on Feb. 25, 2012.
"That's a team that always competes hard, and we have to be ready for them," center Matt Duchene said.
The Avalanche likely will have to end their road woes without Paul Stastny. The center is expected to be out for at least two more games with a foot injury, and forward David Jones is day-to-day with a knee injury.
P.A. Parenteau will try to help his potentially short-handed team by extending his point streak to six games. The winger, who has two goals and five assists during his run, has tallied a point in each of his last three games against Detroit.
The Red Wings' Johan Franzen has 12 goals and an assist in his last 12 games versus Colorado. Franzen was back on the ice Sunday after leaving Thursday's 2-0 loss in San Jose with a lower-body injury.
After getting pulled from Sunday's game, Jimmy Howard is expected to return to the net for Detroit. Howard had a 1.59 goals-against average in the 13 games before the loss to Chicago and is 4-1-1 with a 2.31 GAA in six career home starts against Colorado.