Preview: Red Wings host Oilers
Injuries have decimated the Detroit Red Wings, who have lost two straight and four of five entering Friday night's matchup against the visiting Edmonton Oilers.
The string of injuries that have claimed, among others, captain Henrik Zetterberg and two-way standout Pavel Datsyuk had taken an offensive toll on the Red Wings, who have scored a combined one goal in losses to the New York Rangers and Columbus. Detroit has won five straight and 12 of the past 13 meetings against the Oilers.
Forward Tomas Jurco became the latest Detroit player to go on the shelf, suffering a pair of broken ribs in Tuesday's game that is expected to sideline him at least 10 to 14 days.
"What are you going to do?" Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said of the injuries. "No sense worrying about it. It’s part of the business, we have to suck it up and find a way to win."
Edmonton had won three of four games before surrendering four third-period goals in a 6-2 loss at St. Louis on Thursday.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, RSW (Edmonton), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE OILERS (23-36-8): Edmonton expended a lot of energy in battling back from a three-goal deficit in an eventual 4-3 shootout win at Minnesota on Tuesday night - and it showed in the third-period meltdown against the league-best Blues. Viktor Fasth, acquired from Anaheim at the trade deadline, allowed three first-period goals Tuesday in his first start since Nov. 18 but held Minnesota off the board the rest of the way.
“I had three goals early in the game. It can’t get worse than that," Fasth said. "You just have to battle your way through.”
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (29-23-13): Jimmy Howard will be back in net after missing Tuesday's game due to the flu, but he has permitted 10 goals while losing his last three starts (0-2-1).
"We got to win games. There’s nothing else you can say," Howard said. "I think a lot of us are sick and tired of talking about it and that’s what it seems like we've been doing lately, just talking about it. We got to go out there and do it."
Howard has a stellar track record against the Oilers, posting a 9-1-2 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and two shutouts.
1. Detroit has outscored Edmonton 17-5 during the five-game winning streak.
2. Oilers F David Perron has scored in two straight and is riding a four-game point streak.
3. The Red Wings promoted F Teemu Pulkkinen from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, He is expected to make his NHL debut on Friday.