RED WINGS (25-18-9) at WILD (25-23-4)
Last 10 -- Detroit 4-3-3; Minnesota 5-4-1.
Season series -- This is the second of four meetings. Detroit notched a 4-3 shootout victory against the Wild last Thursday night at the XcelEnergyCenter despite Minnesota's rally in the third period that saw it erase a 3-1 deficit.
Big story -- They may have lost to Phoenix in overtime on Tuesday, but the good news for the Wings is that they are getting healthy. Detroit has managed to stay afloat this season despite being ravaged by injuries, but received a major boost on Tuesday night as defenseman Niklas Kronwall returned to the lineup after missing 30 games with a knee injury. Is Johan Franzen next?
Team Scope :
Red Wings -- Detroit appeared to be well on its way to an impressive victory against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday until Ed Jovanovski and Keith Yandle scored in the final 90 seconds of regulation to erase the Wings' 4-2 lead. Shane Doan then notched the winner in overtime as Detroit earned a point but saw one get away a 5-4 loss to the Coyotes at Joe Louis Arena.
"We thought we'd done a pretty good job. A 4-2 lead with a couple minutes left," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Anyway you look at it, it's a tough loss for us. We were in a situation for us to get two points and them to get none. Then they end up with two and we get one and it doesn't help build any confidence, either."
Wild -- Minnesota bounced back after its shootout loss to the Wings with a 4-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday in the second of a three-game homestand. Mikko Koivu scored twice in the win.
"In games where you are struggling, you look to your leaders. There were some guys that stepped up, older players with Mikko being one of them," Wild coach Todd Richards said. "He had two big goals."
Who's hot -- Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom scored twice in the third period on Tuesday night, his fourth and fifth of the season. … Koivu's two-goal game against the Jackets give him a team-leading 16 tallies.
Injury report -- The Wings are still without Franzen (torn ACL), Tomas Holmstrom (broken foot) and Jason Williams (broken leg), as well as defenseman Andreas Lilja (post-concussion syndrome). … Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard is out indefinitely with a concussion. Chuck Kobasew (knee) and Clayton Stoner (groin) are also out.
Stat pack -- The Wild are 10-3-2 with Robbie Earl in the lineup, including 9-0-1 in the last 10 games.
Puck drop -- "We have to find a way out of this … playing a lot better in our own zone and bearing down when we have to. It's not fun. It's disappointing when you're giving points away the way we have been. We know we need the points right now." -- Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom
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