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The Detroit Red Wings have faced little adversity through the first two weeks of the season.
That will change as the defending champions look to get by without one of their top scorers for approximately a month, starting in the second of a five-game road trip Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings.
As Detroit (6-1-1) looks to extend its overall winning streak to five games while trying to remain perfect on the road this season, it must do so without forward Johan Franzen, who is out three to four weeks with a sprained left knee. Franzen, second on the team with five goals, was injured during a collision in a 6-5 shootout victory at Chicago on Saturday.
"Obviously, he's hurt," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said of Franzen, who had a goal in Saturday's contest.
Though losing Franzen is a blow to the Red Wings, they aren't lacking in offensive talent with six other players posting two goals or more for a club tied for the NHL lead with 31 goals.
On Saturday, Jiri Hudler and Niklas Kronwall each had a goal and two assists, while Marian Hossa stayed hot with a goal, an assist and the shootout winner as Detroit rallied from two goals down with three third-period goals.
"We played on back-to back nights, so it was good to come back from down 4-2 in the opposition rink," said Babcock, whose team is 6-for-17 on the power play while going 4-0-0 on the road this season.
Hossa, who signed a one-year, $7.45 million contract with the Red Wings last summer, has four goals and seven assists in eight games. He has three and two assists in his last two contests and has five of his six goals against Los Angeles in his last two contests versus the Kings.
Ty Conklin made 36 saves Saturday to improve to 3-0-0, but No. 1 goaltender Chris Osgood is likely to be back in net trying for a third straight win. Osgood is 3-1-1 with a 3.20 goals-against average this season and 16-10-0 with four ties and a 2.32 GAA against Los Angeles.
Detroit went 3-1-0 versus Los Angeles in 2007-08 and outscored the Kings 7-1 in winning both meetings at Staples Center.
Los Angeles (3-4-0) opens a season-long seven-game homestand looking to bounce back from a 5-4 loss at Nashville on Saturday. Jarret Stoll had two goals while Patrick O'Sullivan and Anze Kopitar each added a pair of assists for the Kings, who trailed 3-0 after one period.
"We were trying to get a better focus to our game," Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said. "When you give up three goals in the first it throws up a red flag."
Stoll, who spent his previous five seasons with Edmonton before being traded to Los Angeles in June, leads the team with four goals and has three and three assists in his career against Detroit.
Los Angeles' Jason LaBarbera was pulled after allowing three goals on 15 shots Saturday, one night after making 15 saves for in a 4-0 win at St. Louis. LaBarbera is 3-3-0 with a 2.88 GAA this season and 1-3-1 with a 4.24 GAA all-time versus Detroit.
Rookie Erik Ersberg is 0-1-0 with a 1.83 GAA in two games, but has yet to make a start this season, or face Detroit during his career.
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