Red Wings seek fifth straight victory Tuesday
The Detroit Red Wings are getting offensive contributions from numerous sources during their winning streak.
At the moment, the Minnesota Wild can’t relate.
The Red Wings look to go into the All-Star break with a fifth straight victory Tuesday night and hand the visiting Wild an eighth defeat in 10 games (7 p.m. pregame, 7:30 face-off on FOX Sports Detroit).
Detroit (26-11-9) hasn’t won five straight since a six-game run Feb. 8-19, 2012. The Red Wings have scored 17 goals in this streak, with seven points by Tomas Tatar and five apiece from Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist and defenseman Kyle Quincey.
Tatar has a team-high 21 goals, and Nyquist is second with 18.
"They’re good players," coach Mike Babcock told the Red Wings’ official website. "They just got to turn into good pros now. They got to learn to work every single day and do it right all the time."
While Babcock is setting a high standard for those youngsters, the Wild are looking for anyone to step up and complement the production of Zach Parise and Jason Zucker, who have combined for 33 goals. Nino Niederreiter has 14 but none in his last 16 games.
Minnesota (20-20-5) has scored three or fewer goals in 13 of its last 14 after falling 3-1 at home to lowly Columbus on Monday.
"If goals aren’t coming easily to us, then we have to make sure that we’re not giving up a whole bunch of chances," coach Mike Yeo said. "I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight but certainly we’ve got to find a way to score more than one goal."
Parise’s first-period power-play tally was all Minnesota mustered in falling to 2-6-1 in its last nine games. He has five goals in six career games at Detroit.
Defenseman Ryan Suter returned from a two-game suspension for elbowing Pittsburgh’s Steve Downie on Tuesday. Suter, who leads the NHL in average ice time (29:35), echoed Yeo’s comments on the offense.
"We’re getting some good zone time but not finishing then pucks are there," Suter said.
The Wild will take aim at Petr Mrazek, who will start his fifth straight game since Jimmy Howard left the ice on a stretcher with a groin injury in a 3-1 loss at Washington on Jan. 10. Mrazek won the first three games in that stretch before he was pulled after allowing three goals on seven shots in Sunday’s 6-4 victory over Buffalo.
Mrazek is eager to fare better after Detroit rallied from a 3-0 deficit for its fourth straight home win.
"I fell pretty good right now, like every game I want to say," Mrazek said. "Every game is important and you want to win and you have to be ready for that."
Devan Dubnyk started his third straight game Monday for the Wild since being acquired from Arizona on Wednesday, though Yeo indicated Darcy Kuemper could start Tuesday. Kuemper was activated from injured reserve Monday after missing six games because of a lower-body injury.
Center Mikael Granlund could return after missing 12 games with a wrist injury.
Nyquist has four goals in the last three meetings, with these clubs splitting two in 2013-14.