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Red Wings hope to stay hot against Coyotes
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings seek a fifth straight victory on Saturday night when they try to avenge one of just two setbacks this season in a meeting with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Detroit dropped two in a row to Boston and Phoenix on Oct. 5 and 10, respectively, but has won all four of its games since while holding its opponent to a pair of goals or fewer in each contest.
Jonas Gustavsson has backstopped the Red Wings to each of their last three wins while No. 1 netminder Jimmy Howard recovers from a bruised hand. Gustavsson made 38 saves in Thursday's 4-2 victory over Colorado, the Avalanche's first setback of the season.
Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen scored two goals each, while Daniel Alfredsson had three assists.
"We usually play good here and tonight was no exception," said Franzen. "We slowed them down as much as we could. It was a little rough in the second, but we'll take a tie going into the third anytime against them."
The Red Wings were able to overcome a scary incident 2:13 into the game when Niklas Kronwall was slammed into the boards by Colorado's Cody McLeod. Kronwall was taken off the ice on a stretcher and suffered a concussion as well as cuts near his right ear.
McLeod received a major for boarding and has been suspended by the league pending an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Tuesday.
The Red Wings are looking to post their longest winning streak since winning six in a row from Feb. 8-19, 2012 and it is unknown if Howard or Gustavsson will be in net.
Gustavsson won his only other start versus the Coyotes, stopping 28-of-30 shots on March 25 with Detroit, while Howard is 8-2-2 with a 2.19 goals against average versus Phoenix. That includes a 4-2 home loss on Oct. 10, when Howard allowed three goals on 37 shots.
That win was the Coyotes' fourth in the past 10 meetings overall.
Phoenix returns home following a 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim last night. The Coyotes have points in five straight, following up a three-game win streak with consecutive post-regulation setbacks.
Mike Smith made 37 saves through overtime, but yielded four goals in the six- round shootout.
Antoine Vermette and Rostislav Klesla each scored in regulation for the Coyotes.
"I thought we played a solid road game. Both teams had a few chances but we hung around the game and gave ourselves a chance to win and that is what you want to do," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "Anaheim has been playing very well and we wanted to come in and play a solid game. For the most part, we did that."
Smith has started seven of his club's eight games this season, making 28 saves in the earlier win over Detroit. He moved to 3-5-2 against the club lifetime with a 2.54 GAA.
Backup Thomas Greiss could get his second start of the season for the Coyotes tonight and has never faced the Red Wings. His only start this season was a win over Philadelphia on Oct 11.
10/19 10:18:32 ET