Ducks-Red Wings Preview
The Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks battled through a
contentious seven-game series in last season’s Western Conference
semifinals. Neither team is playing like a postseason club at the
The Red Wings enter Friday night’s home game trying to avoid
their fourth loss in five games, while the Ducks have dropped five
The Red Wings (14-11-5), who scored a league-best 295 goals in
2008-09, have not had the same punch this season. Defections and a
lengthy injured list are largely to blame. Marian Hossa and Mikael
Samuelsson departed via free agency in the offseason and Jiri
Hudler left for Russia. Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Jason
Williams and defenseman Niklas Kronwall are all currently on
Detroit suffered yet another blow Wednesday night when Dan
Cleary separated his shoulder during a 1-0 defeat at home to St.
Louis. The right wing, who has 16 points this season, is expected
to miss a month.
Cleary was one of 11 Detroit players with 40 or more points in
2008-09. Out of that group, only Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg,
Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski are currently on the active
The Red Wings have scored one goal or none in seven of their
last 12 games.
However, Detroit enjoyed one of its best performances this
season against the Ducks (11-13-6) on Nov. 14 at Joe Louis
Zetterberg, who has a team-leading 30 points, had a hat trick
and two assists in the 7-4 victory, and Cleary added a goal and two
assists. It stands as both the Red Wings’ second-best scoring
output of the season and the most goals allowed by the Ducks in
That loss dropped the Ducks to 3-22-3 with three ties at Detroit
in regular-season play. They also dropped three of four there in
last spring’s playoff series. The Wings have won five straight
regular-season meetings with the Ducks overall.
Anaheim has also been struggling defensively lately, allowing at
least three goals in each game while losing five of six. The
conference-worst Ducks have also been outscored 29-16 during their
franchise-record eight-game road losing streak (0-5-3) – a bad omen
for a club opening a four game road trip that will play 10 of its
next 12 games away from home.
Anaheim, however, has earned at least a point in three straight
games thanks to an offensive resurgence. The Ducks have scored 11
goals – four by Joffrey Lupul – to help them post a 1-0-2 mark.
They snapped a five-game slide Tuesday night by rallying for a
4-3 overtime win over Dallas.
The Stars scored all of their goals in the first 26:20, but Dan
Sexton tied it up with two goals in the third period. Saku Koivu
buried the winning score with 47 seconds left in overtime.
“Our team has been working hard, and to be able to respond from
the three-goal deficit – especially after losing the last two games
in heartbreaking shootouts – it just says a lot about your team,”
The Red Wings will try to try avoid a third straight home loss,
and their seventh in eight games at Joe Louis Arena since they last
faced the Ducks.