The fact that Henrik Zetterberg has led the Detroit Red Wings to the NHL's best record isn't a surprise. Keeping the league's best record without Dominik Hasek in goal recently is one.
Zetterberg looks to keep his season-long points streak going, Chris Osgood will try to remain unbeaten and the Red Wings go for their seventh straight win as they take on the Calgary Flames on Thursday night in a matchup between the Western Conference's two most potent offenses.
Detroit (10-2-1) leads the West with 45 goals, three more than Calgary (6-3-3).
Zetterberg has 10 goals and 12 assists during a 13-game streak for Detroit, which already owns the largest lead of the six division leaders. His streak is the longest at the start of a season since Ottawa's Dany Heatley had 17 goals and 20 assists during a 22-game run in 2005-06.
But Zetterberg, who has 19 goals and 19 assists in a 20-game points streak that stretches to last season, may find it difficult to continue his early season success at the Pengrowth Saddledome. He's failed to notch a point in his last three games there and has only one assist in six games overall.
Zetterberg's power-play goal early in the second period Tuesday opened the scoring for the Red Wings, but they needed Valtteri Flippula's tally with 24.4 seconds left to defeat Edmonton 2-1.
"I don't think we were as committed as we usually are to get on the inside and get dirty," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I didn't think we had good jump today but we found a way to win the game. We still controlled a lot of the game but we weren't Red Wing-like as far as getting after them and with our jump."
Osgood, meanwhile, was barely tested late. He made only three of his 15 saves in the third period and improved to 6-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average. After taking over for the 42-year-old Hasek - the six-time Vezina Trophy winner is out indefinitely with a sore hip - Osgood is 3-0-0 with a 1.33 GAA, stopping 52 of 56 shots.
Osgood earned his first win this season on Oct. 10, when he stopped 19 shots in a 4-2 home win over the Flames.
Calgary, which wraps up a season-high seven-game homestand with this contest, is coming off a 5-1 rout of Nashville on Tuesday behind 39 saves from Miikka Kiprusoff in his first game after signing a $35 million extension
"It's a huge, huge move," Calgary captain Jarome Iginla said of Kiprusoff, the 2006 Vezina Trophy winner. "People always say he's in the top three but we think he's been the best goalie in the NHL the past few seasons. He's not only a great goalie but he's a very good teammate too and an easy guy to play with."
Kiprusoff has started every game for the Flames, but hasn't allowed more than three goals while going 4-1-1 on the homestand. Though he lost to the Red Wings last month, Kiprusoff is 3-1-1 with a 1.19 GAA at home against them since joining the Flames in 2003.
Iginla had two goals and an assist, and Matthew Lombardi and Kristian Huselius each added a goal and assist for Calgary in the win over the Predators. With 19 points, Iginla is tied with Toronto's Mats Sundin for second in the league in scoring.
Iginla has four goals and seven assists during the homestand, with all 11 points coming in the Flames' wins. He's failed to show up on the scoresheet in the two losses.
Huselius had both of Calgary's goals in the road loss to Detroit, but the Flames are 3-0-1 in their last four home games against Red Wings.
Ticket Info: 313.471.7575
General Info: 313.471.6606