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Oilers-Red Wings Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

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Oilers-Red Wings Preview
Edmonton Oilers vs. Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings may be facing the right opponent to match their longest home-winning streak in franchise history.

The Red Wings go for their 14th straight victory at Joe Louis Arena Friday when they meet the road-weary Edmonton Oilers for the final time this season.

Detroit is 22-3-3 at home and outscoring opponents 55-23 during its 13-game run, which includes a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. All but one of those 13 consecutive wins at Joe Louis have come by two or more goals, and the Red Wings (39-16-6) have killed off 50 of 55 opponent power-play chances during that stretch.

Detroit won a team-record 14 in a row at home Jan. 21-March 25, 1965, and has a good shot of tying that mark versus Edmonton (29-26-6). The Red Wings are 19-2-2 with a tie in the last 24 home meetings with the Oilers, outscoring them 93-44.

Edmonton - which trails Calgary by seven points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference - is playing the sixth of a season-high seven-game road trip and taking the ice on back-to-back nights for the first time during that stretch.

The Oilers enter this matchup with some momentum, though, after beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 on Thursday to notch their first victory of the trip after going 0-2-2 the first four games.

"We're playing for our lives here," said Oilers center Shawn Horcoff, who scored twice and added an assist. "It was pretty intense for us. It was a good win to build on."

Edmonton goaltender Dwayne Roloson made 28 saves to earn his fourth shutout, but Jussi Markkanen may start Friday. Roloson is 5-11-1 with three ties and a 2.75 goals-against average versus the Red Wings while his backup is 4-1-0 with a 3.72 GAA in six career games.

Whichever netminder gets the start will have the challenge of slowing Detroit leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg. The Red Wings' forward scored his NHL-leading 10th game-winning goal Wednesday and added an empty-netter.

He has 13 goals and 13 assists in his last 11 games, including eight goals and six assists during a five-game point streak. That play has helped Detroit win three straight games overall and nine of its last 11.

"You just have to be happy and keep playing," said Zetterberg, who leads Detroit with 32 goals and 66 points. "It really helps the team when the line is playing so well."

That line includes Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk, who scored his 100th career goal Wednesday and added an assist. Datsyuk has eight points in his last three games and has recorded at least one point in six consecutive matchups with Edmonton.

The Oilers have their own offensive threat in Ryan Smyth, who had a goal and two assists Thursday to improve his team-best marks to 30 goals and 52 points.

Detroit's Dominik Hasek will likely get the chance to slow Smyth as he goes for his season-high eighth straight win. The veteran netminder is 7-5-0 with three ties and a 2.36 GAA in 17 career starts versus the Oilers, but is 5-1-0 with a tie and a 1.68 GAA in the last seven of those matchups.

He made 16 saves to shut out Edmonton 3-0 on Nov. 8.

Edmonton has taken two of three meetings between these teams this season, including a 4-3 shootout win on Nov. 18. The Oilers upset the Red Wings in the first round of last season's playoffs, taking the series in six games en route to a surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals as the No. 8 seed.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 23 '07 EDM 4 at DET 3 - SO R. Smyth
Nov 18 '06 DET 3 at EDM 4 - SO R. Torres
Nov 08 '06 EDM 0 at DET 3 D. Cleary
Oct 21 '06 DET 1 at EDM 3 P. Sykora

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