Ryan Miller
Canucks-Red Wings Preview
Ryan Miller

Canucks-Red Wings Preview

Published Dec. 18, 2015 1:30 a.m. ET

Blowing third-period leads was actually working out relatively well for Detroit until its most recent game. The Red Wings have done so in nine of their last 14, though the latest was the first that ended in a regulation loss.

Now welcoming Vancouver for the second of a four-game homestand, Detroit's looking to do things by the book, and the Canucks don't appear to be the kind of team that can overcome any kind of deficit - particularly if Henrik Sedin is to miss time.

Prior to Monday's 2-1 loss against Buffalo, the Red Wings (16-9-6) had gone 8-0-5 before finally failing to gain a point three nights after a 3-2 overtime loss at New Jersey in which they gave up a two-goal lead in the final 20 minutes.

"We've been playing a little bit sloppier lately," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "So maybe this was the little wake-up call here. Just got to get back to playing the right way for 60 minutes."


They might push that along by getting their power play clicking in their own building. Detroit ranked second in 2014-15 at 23.5 percent but is 20th this season at 18.2. At home, the Red Wings are at 14.5 - among the worst marks in the league.

"Some games have been pretty awful where we can't get things set up or get things going, but I think a lot of games we've had actually pretty good chances, it's just a matter of burying those chances," Gustav Nyquist told the team's official website.

"Hopefully it'll get better at home."

The Red Wings have gone 8-2-2 in the series since the start of 2011-12, including a 3-2 overtime win at Vancouver on Oct. 24.

The Canucks (11-13-8) are playing their fourth on a six-game trip and completing a back-to-back after a 2-0 loss in Philadelphia. This marks their third game in four days, so rather than worry about the final 20 minutes, Detroit is hoping for a quick start.

"It's not really try to focus on it but obviously it's a little on your mind you have to jump as soon as the puck drops," said Tomas Tatar, who's scored in his last two games against Vancouver and expects to be OK Friday after an illness. "You know how you feel when you go back to back, it's not easy, especially the first five minutes, to get the body going, but that's what we should use against them and just play whole game."

The Canucks have lost three straight by a 12-2 total and been shut out four times over a 2-6-1 span, so their first four-game regulation skid since a seven-game slide in 2013-14 is looking likely.

Sedin left the loss to the Flyers in the second period with a lower-body injury, and the only update after the game was that a forward would be called up from AHL Utica.

"It'll get tougher," coach Willie Desjardins told the team's official website. "But it'll give other guys a chance in maybe different roles. You never know. ... Your only choice is to go ahead and keep going. That's what we're supposed to do and that's what we have to do."

Ryan Miller, who has a 3.52 goals-against average over a 2-4-0 span, figures to be in net after Jacob Markstrom played against the Flyers. Miller is 1-5-1 with a 3.53 GAA lifetime in Detroit.

Jimmy Howard will start for the Red Wings after Petr Mrazek faced the Sabres. Howard has a 1.91 GAA and .943 save percentage over a 1-0-2 span. He didn't face the Canucks in October but has a 1.57 GAA and .936 save percentage over a 4-1-1 span in the series.


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