The Detroit Red Wings have overcome slow starts the last two games to continue their solid start, but they'd undoubtedly would prefer to begin games with efforts similar to their last one against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Red Wings look to win their sixth straight at home over the Ducks on Saturday night when the teams meet for the second time this month at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit (4-1-1) and Anaheim (3-4-1) opened the season in Detroit on Oct. 8, with the Red Wings winning 4-0. Johan Franzen and Mike Modano each scored in the first period when the Red Wings outshot the Ducks 12-6 before finishing with a 43-21 advantage.
Despite the fast start in the season opener, Detroit has been outscored 4-1 in the first period of its last three contests, with the Red Wings winning the last two. On Thursday, Calgary had a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission before Detroit rallied to win 4-2.
Franzen, who missed the previous game with a head injury, scored the go-ahead goal in the third period when it bounced off Miikka Kiprusoff's mask and shoulder before rolling down his back and into the net.
"We addressed what was going on in the first," said Todd Bertuzzi, who also scored in the third period. "We were making too many mistakes in the neutral zone, turning the puck over and that's not the way we play. When we start simplifying and getting it deep, getting the cycle going, getting our legs back, we started getting a little bit more momentum."
Thursday's game opened a four-game homestand for Detroit, which is 2-0-1 at Joe Louis Arena.
Franzen, who has four goals this season, will try to extend a five-game goal-scoring streak against the Ducks on Saturday. Including this month's victory, he and the Red Wings have their last five home meeting with Anaheim, outscoring the Ducks 21-9.
The Ducks are looking to build off their first road win as they try for their first victory in Detroit since Feb. 10, 2008. After four straight road losses, Anaheim recorded a 3-2 win at Philadelphia on Thursday despite being outshot 42-22. Ryan Getzlaf scored the go-ahead goal with 1:46 remaining.
Getlzaf's goal, his third of the season, held up after a video review.
"It doesn't matter how it goes in," coach Randy Carlyle said. "It went in. I don't care if it was an end-to-end rush, a fluke from center, whatever it is. We're desperate for wins. We found a way to get the job done."
The Ducks have won three of five after being outscored 13-2 in an 0-3 start. Despite facing heavy action Thursday, Curtis McElhinney recorded the win in his first start of the season.
Jonas Hiller, who is 2-4-1 with a 3.45 goals-against average, could be back in net Saturday, although he is 0-3 with a 4.81 GAA in Detroit.
He's likely to be opposed by Jimmy Howard, who shut out the Ducks earlier this month to improve to 3-0 with a 2.00 GAA at Joe Louis Arena against Anaheim.