Wings Head West
Phoenix, AZ - Losses haven't been too common for the Detroit Red Wings lately, so the outcome of their most recent game had to be disappointing.
A matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes, however, might be the best way for the defending Stanley Cup champions to move forward.
The Red Wings look to regroup from a rare defeat on Tuesday when they pursue their 10th consecutive victory over the Coyotes and their eighth straight in Phoenix in the teams' final game before the All-Star break.
Oddsmakers from Online Sportsbook Sportsbook.com have made the Red Wings –180 money line favorites for Tuesday’s game against the Coyotes. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 82% of more than 235 bets for this game have been placed on the Red Wings -180.
Detroit (31-8-6) dropped back-to-back contests for just the third time this season on Dec. 26 and 27, but rebounded by collecting at least one point in a season-high 10 consecutive games (8-0-2) entering Saturday's matchup against Western Conference-leading San Jose.
The Red Wings had a chance to move past the Sharks in the overall standings, but instead dropped three points behind them with a 6-5 road defeat. Detroit rallied for a 4-3 lead late in the second period before San Jose answered with three straight goals.
Marian Hossa scored his team-high 22nd goal and added two assists, while Pavel Datsyuk set up a pair of goals.
Brian Rafalski and Henrik Zetterberg each contributed a goal and an assist for Detroit, which was outshot for just the second time in 19 contests.
"I thought they were more physical than us early, and then I thought we responded real well," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose team hadn't lost in regulation since Dec. 26. "They scored on their breakaways, and we didn't score on ours."
Capitalizing on offensive opportunities, though, has been a bit easier when facing Phoenix (23-19-5). Since a 5-2 home loss on March 7, 2006, the Red Wings have outscored the Coyotes 41-18 in winning nine straight meetings.
Datsyuk, who has three goals and nine assists over his last seven contests overall, has seven goals and 20 assists during a 13-game point streak against the Coyotes. Zetterberg has 10 goals and nine assists during a nine-game run versus Phoenix.
The Red Wings opened the 2008-09 series with their seventh consecutive victory in Phoenix, 5-4 in a shootout on Dec. 13. Since playing to a tie there on March 18, 2004, they've held a 31-13 scoring advantage when visiting the Coyotes.
Detroit, a conference-best 15-5-4 on the road, is 2-1-1 thus far on its season-high six-game trip.
Phoenix, meanwhile, finished with a split of its four-game swing following Sunday's 6-3 defeat at Edmonton. Daniel Carcillo ended a 22-game goal-scoring drought and Peter Mueller added his 12th of the season to tie the score in the second period before the Oilers netted the game's final three goals.
"(It) was a big game and we didn't have the urgency early on," Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. "We scored the first one and they tied it up. Those next few shifts are the most important ones of the period."
Phoenix, though, can bounce back with another solid performance at Jobing.com Arena, where it is 15-6-2 overall. Captain Shane Doan has 21 of his team-leading 44 points at home, and 11 goals and 12 assists in 46 lifetime games against Detroit.
Ilya Bryzgalov has started each of the Coyotes' last four matchups against the Red Wings, compiling a 3.21 goals-against average. He's been opposed by Detroit netminder Chris Osgood, who has a 2.46 GAA in those outings.
The status of Red Wings forward Johan Franzen is unclear after he sat out the third period of Saturday's game with what Babcock called a thigh injury.
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Posted: 1/20/09 4:00AM ET