Stars-Red Wings Preview

The Detroit Red Wings have posted two shutouts during a

three-game win streak as they get ready to face a team they have

struggled against in recent seasons.

The Red Wings look to extend their streak Saturday night as they

host the Dallas Stars, who will try to get back on track after

their four-game run ended.

Detroit (8-5-1) totaled six goals during a six-game slide Oct.

22-Nov. 3 before outscoring foes 13-2 during its current winning

streak. Jimmy Howard posted his second shutout of the stretch with

24 saves Friday in a 3-0 victory over Edmonton.

“Jimmy has been playing great all year,” defenseman Niklas

Kronwall said. “Even when we were slumping, he was playing great

and giving us a chance to win those games.”

Howard has a 1.63 goals-against average this season. He’s made

seven straight starts, and is 2-4-1 with a 2.42 GAA in seven career

starts against Dallas.

Dallas (11-4-0) has won three of four against Detroit in each of

the last three seasons, and appears to be much improved in 2011-12,

with one of the Western Conference’s top records. The Stars,

though, fell 3-1 at Pittsburgh on Friday to see their winning

streak end at four.

Coach Glen Gulutzan’s club could be short-handed on defense

versus Detroit. Alex Goligoski did not see action the final two

periods against the Penguins due to a thumb that was heavily


Goligoski is scheduled to have X-rays taken on the thumb, and

Gulutzan said he will be out for some time.

The Stars played with only four defensemen for the final seven

minutes of the second period, as Mark Fistric went to the locker

room after taking a puck to the face. Fistric returned for the


“I don’t think we got off to the best start, and when you play

four (defensemen) it’s tough,” Gulutzan said. “But I think,

all-in-all, we were outplayed from the start of the game.”

Dallas totaled 20 goals during its win streak, but managed only

Eric Nystrom’s first-period tally Friday.

The Stars’ defense figures to be tested against Johan Franzen,

whose nine goals and six assists have all come during Detroit’s

last seven victories. Franzen, who had an assist Friday, did not

register a point during the Red Wings’ six-game losing streak.

Detroit went 0 for 6 on the power play Friday after going 4 for

12 over its previous three games.

“We’re getting closer to playing the way we want to play,”

Kronwall said. “We’re still not taking advantage of power plays. We

had a chance to break the game open earlier than we did.”

Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen has made seven straight starts, and

he’s 11-2-0 with a 2.20 GAA on the season. He’s 3-3-0 with a 3.18

lifetime GAA against Detroit, while backup Andrew Raycroft is 5-2-0

with a 2.63 GAA in seven career starts versus the Red Wings.

Detroit right wing Todd Bertuzzi will miss his fourth straight

game with a sinus infection.