The Detroit Red Wings have posted two shutouts during a three-game win streak as they get ready to face a team they have struggled against in recent seasons.
The Red Wings look to extend their streak Saturday night as they host the Dallas Stars, who will try to get back on track after their four-game run ended.
Detroit (8-5-1) totaled six goals during a six-game slide Oct. 22-Nov. 3 before outscoring foes 13-2 during its current winning streak. Jimmy Howard posted his second shutout of the stretch with 24 saves Friday in a 3-0 victory over Edmonton.
"Jimmy has been playing great all year," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "Even when we were slumping, he was playing great and giving us a chance to win those games."
Howard has a 1.63 goals-against average this season. He's made seven straight starts, and is 2-4-1 with a 2.42 GAA in seven career starts against Dallas.
Dallas (11-4-0) has won three of four against Detroit in each of the last three seasons, and appears to be much improved in 2011-12, with one of the Western Conference's top records. The Stars, though, fell 3-1 at Pittsburgh on Friday to see their winning streak end at four.
Coach Glen Gulutzan's club could be short-handed on defense versus Detroit. Alex Goligoski did not see action the final two periods against the Penguins due to a thumb that was heavily bandaged.
Goligoski is scheduled to have X-rays taken on the thumb, and Gulutzan said he will be out for some time.
The Stars played with only four defensemen for the final seven minutes of the second period, as Mark Fistric went to the locker room after taking a puck to the face. Fistric returned for the third.
"I don't think we got off to the best start, and when you play four (defensemen) it's tough," Gulutzan said. "But I think, all-in-all, we were outplayed from the start of the game."
Dallas totaled 20 goals during its win streak, but managed only Eric Nystrom's first-period tally Friday.
The Stars' defense figures to be tested against Johan Franzen, whose nine goals and six assists have all come during Detroit's last seven victories. Franzen, who had an assist Friday, did not register a point during the Red Wings' six-game losing streak.
Detroit went 0 for 6 on the power play Friday after going 4 for 12 over its previous three games.
"We're getting closer to playing the way we want to play," Kronwall said. "We're still not taking advantage of power plays. We had a chance to break the game open earlier than we did."
Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen has made seven straight starts, and he's 11-2-0 with a 2.20 GAA on the season. He's 3-3-0 with a 3.18 lifetime GAA against Detroit, while backup Andrew Raycroft is 5-2-0 with a 2.63 GAA in seven career starts versus the Red Wings.
Detroit right wing Todd Bertuzzi will miss his fourth straight game with a sinus infection.
AccuScore has powered more than 10,000 simulations for every NHL game on ESPN.com, calculating how each team's performance changes in response to game conditions and opponent's abilities. Each game is simulated and the game is replayed a minimum of 10,000 times to generate forecasted winning percentages.