By Jeff Mezydlo
Stats Senior Writer
Detroit (48-16-9) at Edmonton (35-28-9), 9:30 pm EDT
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- A rare road loss in their last game
kept the Detroit Red Wings from moving back into the top spot in
the Western Conference.
The Red Wings have another chance to get there Tuesday night
when they conclude a three-game trip by trying to sweep the
season series from the Edmonton Oilers.
Detroit (48-16-9) had its four-game winning streak snapped with
a 5-3 loss on Monday at Calgary. The result also ended the Red
Wings' road winning streak at five, and kept them one point
behind San Jose for first place in the West.
The Red Wings and Sharks continue to go back and forth for the
top spot in the West and home-ice advantage throughout the
conference playoffs. After this contest, Detroit plays just two
of its final eight games on the road where it is 22-11-5 this
Despite their latest setback, the Red Wings could still be in
good shape to bounce back. Though the Oilers are seventh in the
West, they have been outscored 16-6 in three losses to Detroit
Detroit, which hasn't swept a season series from Edmonton since
1995-96, won 8-3 at home on Feb. 7 in the last meeting between
the teams who could possibly face off in the first round of the
Marian Hossa had a goal and assist and Niklas Kronwall added
three assists for the Red Wings in that contest. Kronwall had
two assists and Hossa one while Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk
scored in the loss to Calgary.
Kronwall has one goal and four assists in two games against the
Oilers this season. Datsyuk, meanwhile, looks to extend his
point streak to nine games after recording a goal in his third
straight contest Monday.
Datsyuk is one goal shy of matching his career high of 31 from
last season, and has two and one assist versus Edmonton in
Chris Osgood was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots
against the Flames.
"You just move on and play the next game," Osgood said.
Though he had started the last five games for Detroit, Osgood is
likely to give way to Ty Conklin in this contest.
Conklin made 11 saves and allowed a goal in relief of Osgood to
fall to 24-9-2 with a 2.44 goals-against average. A former
Oiler, Conklin is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA against Edmonton this
season, and made 21 saves in a 4-0 victory on Nov. 17.
The Oilers had their three-game winning streak snapped in a 3-0
loss at Minnesota on Sunday to conclude a three-game road trip.
Edmonton outshot the Wild 15-2 in the first period and finished
with 31 shots, but was stymied by All-Star Niklas Backstrom
after combining for 13 goals in its previous two games.
"You hate to see the 30-plus shot shutouts. That means you're
getting pucks to the net," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said.
"If you're committed enough there you should be able to get some
Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves, but has allowed seven goals in his
last two contests. He is 26-18-9 with a 2.75 GAA in 2008-09 -
but 0-2-0 with an 8.01 GAA against Detroit.
Edmonton's Sam Gagner scored four goals in his previous two
games prior to Sunday, but has been held scoreless against the
Red Wings this season.