(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to tie the NHL record for
consecutive home wins when they shoot for their 20th straight victory at Joe
Louis Arena tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.
It's fitting that the Red Wings will go for the record against the Flyers.
Philadelphia matched the NHL record for most home wins in a row when it won 20
straight at the Spectrum during the 1975-76 season, equaling the mark first
set by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins.
Detroit has extended its club record for consecutive home victories by going
2-0 at the start of a six-game homestand. The wins over Edmonton and Anaheim
have boosted the Red Wings' record in the Motor City this year to 22-2-1 and
Detroit hasn't lost in front of its home crowd since Nov. 3 against Calgary.
Philadelphia had lost eight straight in Detroit before posting a 3-2
regulation win at the Joe last season on Jan. 2. The Flyers have lost 14 of
their last 16 regular-season games in Motown, but Philly has taken two
straight and three of four overall in this series.
The Red Wings needed a shootout to post consecutive home win No. 19 on Friday,
as Todd Bertuzzi supplied the decisive goal in the third round of the shootout
to lift Detroit to a 2-1 victory over the Ducks.
Following an exciting overtime, Bertuzzi skated in on Jonas Hiller very slowly
and beat the Anaheim goaltender with a backhander. Joey MacDonald then denied
Bobby Ryan to assure the win for Detroit, which leads the Central Division,
Western Conference and NHL with 76 points.
"We know it's a grind and not easy, but when you're playing well, especially
at home, you just keep going with it and try not to think too much about it,"
said Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
MacDonald made 29 saves for the Red Wings, as he continues to do a solid job
filling in as Detroit's primary starter while Jimmy Howard is sidelined with a
broken finger. MacDonald has started the last three games for Detroit and has
stopped 64-of-69 shots while posting a 2-1 record in those outings. Howard
suffered his finger injury on Feb. 2 and is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks of
In other injury news for the Red Wings, forward Danny Cleary sat out on Friday
with a lower-body injury and will miss tonight's game as well as Tuesday's
test against Dallas.
Although the Flyers have an 18-8-2 record on the road this year, they won't
have much of a chance to halt Detroit's home streak if they don't stop their
recent funk. Philadelphia is still fourth in the Eastern Conference with 69
points, but Peter Laviolette's club has lost four of its last five games.
Philadelphia was slammed by the visiting New York Rangers on Saturday
afternoon, as Ryan Callahan posted his second career hat trick in a 5-2 win
for the Blueshirts. The victory pushed New York's lead atop the Atlantic
Division to six over the Flyers as the Rangers improved to 5-0 against
Philadelphia this season.
The story of the game was the power play. The Rangers went 3-for-7 with the
man advantage, while Philly was 0-for-4. The Flyers only trailed 3-2 heading
into the third before letting the game get away from them.
Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist for the Flyers and Claude Giroux also
scored. Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 21-of-26 shots in defeat.
"It doesn't feel good. Obviously we played them five times and lost to them
five times so it is not a good feeling in here right now," Simmonds said.
Bobrovsky has started the last two games while No. 1 netminder Ilya Bryzgalov
has dealt with a bout of the flu. Bryzgalov traveled with the team to Detroit
and will likely get the start tonight.
The Sports Network