Preview: Wild at Red Wings
Pavel Datsyuk has made his brief slump a thing of the past. The electrifying Russian will look to extend his point streak to five games on Wednesday, when the Detroit Red Wings host the Minnesota Wild. After being held to just two assists in six contests, Datsyuk highlighted his current point streak with a three-assist effort in Detroit's 5-2 victory over Vancouver on Saturday.
British Columbia also was the site of Minnesota's last victory - a 3-1 triumph over the Canucks on Monday. The Wild have won three in a row and five of six to secure a share of the Northwest Division lead. Coach Mike Yeo's club would be wise to keep an eye on Datsyuk, who has collected two goals and three assists to help the Red Wings gain a split in their first two meetings with the Wild.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2
ABOUT THE WILD (16-10-2): Matt Cullen is on the verge of a milestone as the 36-year-old sits one goal shy of 200 for his career. Cullen will join teammate Zach Parise as one of 37 American-born players in that club - while becoming just the 10th Minnesota native to reach the plateau. Cullen is riding a five-game point streak and has collected one goal and nine assists in his last 10 contests, but has been held off the scoresheet in both outings versus Detroit.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (14-10-5): Joe Louis Arena is a house of horrors for Minnesota - and Jimmy Howard has played a significant role. The netminder is 5-0-2 in his last seven home starts against the Wild and 9-2-2 overall. Howard turned aside 23 shots in a 5-3 win over Minnesota on Jan. 25. Valtteri Filppula, who notched three assists in that contest, has recorded two goals and two helpers during his four-game point streak.
1. A potent power play has aided in the Wild's surge. Minnesota has scored with the man advantage in nine of its last 11 contests - converting 9-of-39 opportunities.
2. Red Wings C Damien Brunner has cooled off considerably since his hot start. After scoring 10 times in his first 19 contests, the 27-year-old is mired in a 10-game goalless drought.
3. Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu has three assists in two games versus Detroit.
PREDICTION: Red Wings 4, Wild 2
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