Success in Motown

The Detroit Red Wings have finished last season with a league-best 66 points at home. The Vancouver Canucks, though, didn't help contribute to that success.

The Red Wings return home on Wednesday night to face the Canucks, who were the only team to visit Detroit at least twice without suffering a loss last season.

Detroit was 29-4-8 at home in 2006-07 - its ninth straight season with at least 25 victories at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings, though, lost both of their home games against the Canucks, falling 3-1 on Oct. 5 and 4-3 in overtime on Nov. 22.

Vancouver also was one of only two teams to record two victories in Detroit, joining St. Louis, which was 2-1-1 there.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Detroit -179 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -179 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

This season, the Red Wings (6-2-1) have gotten off to a typically strong start at home, winning three of their first four games. They've also had success on the road, where they averaged 4.0 goals per game while going 3-1-0 on their most recent four-game trip.

Detroit has scored at least three goals in all but one game this season. In a 5-2 victory over Phoenix on Saturday, Kirk Maltby - known mostly for his passing skills - scored his first two goals of the season.

"Whoever I'm playing with usually gets on me to shoot more," said Maltby, who totaled six goals in 2006-07 and five the previous season after tying a career-high with 14 in 2003-04. "It's part of playing safe and making the safe play.

"It's something you've got be conscious of but it's all part of going out there and playing with confidence."

Maltby was one of four Detroit players to score on Saturday. The Red Wings have had 14 different players find the back of the net this season.

"We have great depth on this team and tonight we proved that, rolling four lines and having a lot of guys score," said forward Henrik Zetterberg, the NHL scoring leader with 17 points.

Zetterberg capped Saturday's scoring with his seventh tally of the season. He has scored a goal in a career-high six straight games and has recorded a point in each game this season. He hasn't fared as well against Vancouver, which has held him to four goals and two assists in 15 career games.

The Canucks (4-5-0) are coming off a 3-1 loss at Carolina on Monday. It was the third loss in four games for the reigning Northwest Division champs, who went 3-1-0 overall against the Red Wings last season.

"We won lots of games last year. We were not pleased with our effort, but we were finding ways to win," said goalie Roberto Luongo, who stopped 28 shots in Monday's defeat. "I think that's what's missing right now. We're not finding ways to win on a consistent basis.''

Luongo is 3-5-0 with a 3.00 goals-against average this season after going 47-22-6 with a career-best 2.29 GAA in 2006-07.

He's 4-5-0 with one tie and a 2.45 GAA in 10 career games against the Red Wings.

Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek - a six-time Vezina Trophy winner - is 10-7-2 with a 2.98 GAA in 19 career games against the Canucks. Backup goalie Chris Osgood is 14-4-0 with four ties and a 2.42 GAA against them.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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