Ducks-Red Wings Preview

Plagued by lack of offense, the Detroit Red Wings are struggling

– especially at Joe Louis Arena, which they once relied upon to

avoid lengthy losing streaks.

They haven’t been able to do so over the past 10 days, and the

Wings will try to avoid their first five-game regulation home skid

in almost 28 years and sixth straight loss overall when they face

the red-hot Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.

Detroit (15-11-9) fell 3-0 to visiting Tampa Bay on Sunday after

allowing all the scoring in the third period. The Wings have

tallied five goals during their five-game losing streak.

Injury-riddled Detroit seems to especially be missing leading

scorer Henrik Zetterberg, who sat out his seventh game in a row due

to a back injury. The Wings had won four straight when he got

injured – recording 18 goals in that span – and they’ve gone 1-4-2

since, scoring 11 times.

Zetterberg is expected to be out through at least the Christmas

break.

“Again, we’re making too many mistakes, too many easy mistakes,”

said defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who was on the ice for all three

Lightning goals and is a career-worst minus-8 after a career-best

plus-15 effort last season.

“I thought after two periods we didn’t play great but we had a

few shifts there at the end of the second, I thought we were

coming, we were playing some good hockey. We got the puck deep, had

some really good cycles and chances off the cycles. The third

period, we were giving them way too easy goals.”

Making matters worse, Detroit center Johan Franzen left in the

second period after taking a glove to the face and did not return.

His status for this game is uncertain.

The Wings have lost 110 man-games to injuries.

Perennially one of the toughest teams to beat at home, Detroit

hasn’t dropped five in a row in regulation there since a six-game

skid Feb. 8-March 3, 1986.

It probably won’t be easy against Anaheim (23-7-5), which has

won five in a row and is 6-0-2 in its last eight. The Ducks have

allowed two or fewer goals in each game of the winning streak and

have the second-best record in the NHL.

They weren’t dominant Sunday at home against Edmonton, but did

enough for a 3-2 victory as former Oiler Dustin Penner scored the

tiebreaking goal with 3:17 to play.

“We played a lot more desperate after they tied it up (midway

through the third period),” Penner told the team’s official

website. “I think all four lines started going, especially our

line. We weren’t very good all game. (Ryan Getzlaf) made a good

pass out to the slot for me, and it got deflected on the way up.

Sometimes you need those breaks.”

Getzlaf extended his official point streak to 14 games and he’s

recorded at least a point in 16 straight, including the two he

played prior to a three-game injury absence. He has 10 goals and 13

assists in those 16 contests.

Anaheim, the only team with three five-game winning streaks this

season, will be opening a four-game trip against the Eastern

Conference. The Ducks snapped an eight-game skid at Detroit with a

5-2 victory Feb. 15.

The Red Wings, though, won the last two matchups with Anaheim

last season by a 7-2 margin.