Series (Game 1 of 4)

Detroit leads 4-0

Game 1: Friday, November 5th
Red Wings3Final
Game 2: Thursday, November 11th
Red Wings6
Game 3: Tuesday, January 4th
Red Wings5Final
Game 4: Friday, March 11th
Red Wings2

Red Wings 3

(8-2-1, 17 pts)

Oilers 1

(3-6-2, 8 pts)

9:00 PM ET, November 5, 2010

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
DET 1 1 13
EDM 0 1 01

J. Howard (Red Wings - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: .967

N. Khabibulin (Oilers - G): Saves: 27, Save Pct.: .931

D. Cleary (Red Wings - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Red Wings-Oilers Preview


With their No. 1 goaltender back and four healthy lines producing, the Detroit Red Wings seem prepared to make a run at another Western Conference championship.

The Edmonton Oilers are simply trying to avoid another dismal season.

Detroit goes for its sixth win in seven contests when it faces Edmonton on Friday night in the second game of a three-game Canadian road trip.

Jimmy Howard returned Wednesday after missing two games with back spasms and made 16 saves in the Wings' 2-1 victory over Calgary. Howard improved to 5-0-1 with a 1.95 goals-against average.

"Being off for a week and a half, I felt a little bit off, but for the most part I had a couple of good practices and I felt OK," he said.

Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg lead the Wings (7-2-1) with 12 points apiece, but it was Detroit's third line that provided the offense against the Flames.

Dan Cleary assisted on Mike Modano's tying goal, and Justin Abdelkader -- playing his second game of the season after missing the first eight with a rib injury -- scored the winner 12:08 into the second period.

"I thought Cleary was fantastic in the first (period), I thought Modano was good and then obviously Abby scoring the goal by just being big and physical down low," coach Mike Babcock said. "It gave us four solid lines."

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Abdelkader adds size to a forward unit that specializes in winning battles along the boards.

"It feels great," Abdelkader said. "I think our line can be successful when we can hang onto pucks, cycle down low (and) bring it to the net. It's going to open up a lot of things."

Detroit had scored a power-play goal in eight straight games before going 0 for 7 against Calgary.

The Wings could get right back on track on the power play against Edmonton, the NHL's worst penalty killing team at 68.8 percent. The Oilers have given up at least two power-play goals in four of five games, allowing a pair in a 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Wednesday.

Edmonton (3-5-2) has one win in its last eight games.

Dustin Penner, Ryan Jones and Gilbert Brule scored as the Oilers overcame a 3-0 deficit against the Canucks. However, former Oiler Raffi Torres gave Vancouver the win by completing his hat trick midway through the third period.

"You can't spot any team in the league three goals, or they're going to beat you," Jones said. "I don't think there's any doubt that if we played three periods like we did the last two we'd be laughing in here with two points."

Nikolai Khabibulin has gone 1-5-1 with a 4.15 GAA in his last seven starts. He has given up at least four goals in four straight games, while Edmonton has been outshot in its last five.

The Oilers won an NHL-low 27 games in 2009-10, but took three of four from the Wings.