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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, October 30th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (6-4-2) at Vancouver Canucks (9-4-1), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings aim to snap a four-game losing streak on Wednesday night when they kick off their road trip against the surging Vancouver Canucks.
The Red Wings have posted an 0-2-2 mark since a victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 17. They dropped a regulation game in Phoenix two days later and wrapped up a winless three-game stay at home with Saturday's 3-2 overtime setback to the New York Rangers.
Jimmy Howard made 37 saves, but was beaten on a breakaway by the Rangers' Derick Brassard with 12.9 seconds left in overtime. Drew Miller and Daniel Alfredsson had the goals for Detroit, which failed to earn a point for the first time this season when scoring first (5-1-1).
"We have no consistency in our play," Detroit head coach Mike Babcock remarked. "It doesn't look like we're wearing the team out. We've got a long way to go in that area and we'll have to sort this out."
The Red Wings will try to avoid going winless in five straight for the first time since an 0-3-2 slump from Feb. 13-21 of last season, but won't have forward Johan Franzen available tonight due to an undisclosed injury.
Franzen, who has two goals and five points in 12 games this season, could return by Friday's game in Calgary and center Luke Glendening was recalled from the American Hockey League ahead of this game.
Babcock does expect forward Patrick Eaves to make his season debut after missing the first 12 games with a sprained knee and ankle injury.
While the Red Wings are slumping, the Canucks have ripped off four straight wins and are 6-1-1 in their last eight games. They overcame an early third- period deficit on Monday to beat the Washington Capitals 3-2.
The Canucks fell behind by a goal 1:52 into the third period, but Ryan Kesler scored a tying goal just 61 seconds later before Daniel Sedin potted the game- winner 5:01 into the period.
Zack Kassian also scored, Henrik Sedin had an assist and Roberto Luongo made 17 saves in the win.
"Resiliency," Kesler said. "We find a way to battle back and get the go-ahead (goal). That's the way our team's been all year."
Vancouver will look for its newly-formed top line of the Sedin brothers and Kesler to lead it to five straight wins for the first time since a six-game run from March 19-28.
Henrik Sedin has three goals and eight assists over a nine-game point streak, Kesler has five goals and eight points over a five-game run and Daniel Sedin has notched six points over his last four.
The Red Wings went 2-0-1 in three meetings last season with the Canucks, outscoring Vancouver by a 14-7 margin.
Howard is 9-5-2 with a shutout and 2.72 goals against average in his career versus the Canucks, while Luongo has posted an 11-12-6 mark with a 2.91 GAA in his encounters with the Red Wings.
10/30 10:51:54 ET
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