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GAME: Detroit Red Wings (45-15-5) at Edmonton Oilers (34-23-10).
TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EST.
Facing the Detroit Red Wings isn't on any team's wish list when pursuing a playoff spot, but the Edmonton Oilers might not be too upset to see them visit Rexall Place.
The Oilers haven't lost in their last six home meetings with the Wings, recording two wins and four ties over that span. They've suffered just two defeats to Detroit in the last 13 matchups in Edmonton since the 1998-99 season.
Edmonton has kept pace with Los Angeles and Vancouver for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference by defeating Northwest Division rivals Minnesota and Calgary this week.
The Oilers beat the Wild 2-1 Tuesday in the second of two straight games in Minnesota, securing Dwayne Roloson's first victory since they acquired the goaltender on March 8. Edmonton made it two in a row with a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Flames in overtime Thursday.
Jarret Stoll tied Thursday's game at 7:12 of the third period and Shawn Horcoff won it by taking a pass from Sergei Samsonov and backhanding the puck in at 3:04 of the extra session.
"He is so dangerous," Horcoff said of Samsonov, who was acquired from Boston on March 9. "A lot of people get caught watching him."
Thursday's victory pulled the Oilers within four points of the first-place Flames in the Northwest.
Detroit arrives in Edmonton on a four-game winning streak after posting a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Wednesday night.
Chris Osgood, who had been a No. 1 goalie for nearly all of his 13-year career before backing up Manny Legace this season, made 25 saves for the Wings.
"This year I'm having to learn some different aspects of goaltending," said Osgood, who improved to 16-5-3. "Just work hard and wait until you get a chance to play."
Zetterberg has five goals in his last four games and has gone without a score just once in his last eight contests, registering nine goals and four assists in that span.
Detroit has gone 12-2-0 since Jan. 30 to stay four points ahead of Dallas in the race for the No. 1 seed in the West. Only Buffalo (13-1-2) has won more games over that stretch, while the Stars have gone 10-4-1.
STANDINGS: Red Wings - 95 points, 1st place, Central Division. Oilers - 78 points, 3rd place (tied), 4 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Zetterberg, 34 goals; Nicklas Lidstrom, 54 assists; Pavel Datsyuk, 77 points; Chris Chelios, 96 PIM. Oilers - Ryan Smyth, 31 goals; Ales Hemsky, 51 assists and 67 points; Horcoff, 77 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Red Wings - Power play: 23.5 percent (87 for 370), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (320 for 376), 6th. Oilers - Power play: 18.4 percent (76 for 414), 9th. Penalty killing: 83.3 percent (339 for 407), 13th.
GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Legace (28-8-2, 5 SO, 2.25 GAA); Osgood (16-5-3, 2, 2.71). Oilers - Roloson (8-19-2, 1, 3.02); Ty Conklin (7-5-1, 1, 2.85).
SEASON SERIES: Oilers, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 17; Oilers 6-5, OT. At Edmonton, Alberta, Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman tallied goals late in the third period to force overtime for the Wings, but Stoll scored 33 seconds into the extra session.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 22-6-3 on the road; Oilers - 16-12-5 at home.
|Apr 11 '06||EDM 0 at DET 2||D. MacLean|
|Mar 18 '06||DET 4 at EDM 3 - SO||J. Williams|
|Nov 17 '05||DET 5 at EDM 6 - OT||J. Stoll|
|Nov 03 '05||EDM 4 at DET 3 - OT||R. Torres|
Ticket Info: 313.471.7575
General Info: 313.471.6606