NHL-leading Wings seek eighth straight win
DETROIT -- The NHL-leading Red Wings are in the midst of another lengthy winning streak, thanks mostly to their dominant play at home.
The Wings open a four-game homestand seeking a seventh straight victory at Joe Louis Arena - and eighth win overall - when they meet the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
Detroit (22-6-2) pushed its league-best point total to 46 with a 2-1 win at Nashville on Monday. The road game was the second and final one during a home-heavy 11-game stretch for the Wings.
With seven consecutive wins, the Red Wings are two away from matching their longest run of the season from Oct. 18-Nov. 9.
"I actually thought we were really ready to play," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the victory over the Predators. "All in all, when you go through our lineup we had a lot of strong contributions against a good team. It was a good win for us."
The Red Wings, who lead the league with 3.4 goals per game, were held to less than three goals for the first time in six contests. They were also 0-for-6 on the power play, ending a streak of 11 games in which they recorded a goal with the man advantage.
Still, center Pavel Datsyuk was able to extend his point streak to nine games by contributing an assist. He has eight goals and eight assists during that span, which ties his season-best run from Oct. 14-Nov. 1. Last season, Datsyuk had a 12-game point streak from Feb. 24-March 22.
Left wing Henrik Zetterberg, meanwhile, had his four-game point streak snapped and went scoreless for only the fourth time this season. He's third in the NHL with 41 points, totaling 21 goals and 20 assists.
At home, Zetterberg has 12 goals and nine assists in 15 games, recording a point in all but one appearance at Joe Louis Arena.
Zetterberg's home success mirrors that of his team, which has won a season-high six in a row at Joe Louis Arena and boasts a league-best 13-2-0 mark on home ice. The Red Wings won 13 in a row in Detroit from Dec. 20-Feb. 21 en route to finishing with the NHL's best home record of 29-4-8 last season.
The Red Wings have defeated the Oilers (14-16-2) twice this season, most recently 2-1 in Edmonton on Oct. 30. They've won six of the last eight meetings in Detroit.
The Oilers will be seeking to end their three-game road trip with another victory after they snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-4 shootout win in St. Louis on Tuesday. Edmonton leading scorer Shawn Horcoff had a goal and an assist in regulation, then scored the lone goal in the shootout to improve the Oilers to 8-1 in those situations.
"I thought we had all four lines going and we showed a lot of adversity battling back," said Horcoff, who leads the team with 15 goals and 18 assists. "We came from behind four times and I think that's impressive."
Horcoff extended his point streak to eight games - tying the career high he established Dec. 28, 2005-Jan. 14, 2006 - and has six goals and seven assists during that stretch. He did not have a point in the last game against Detroit, but has four goals and 11 assists in 24 meetings with the Wings.
Forward Ales Hemsky, second on the Oilers with 26 points, had three assists Tuesday to bring his point streak to five games.