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Wild-Red Wings Preview

AP - Sports

Since setting the NHL record for consecutive home victories less than two weeks ago, the Detroit Red Wings have scuffled a bit on their own ice.

A visit from the road-weary Minnesota Wild could help them get back on track at Joe Louis Arena.

Short-handed Detroit tries to avoid going winless in three straight home games for the first time in almost four months Friday night against the Wild.

The Red Wings (42-19-3), who defeated San Jose 3-2 on Feb. 19 to set a league record with their 23rd straight home victory, have since been handed a pair of narrow defeats in front of their home crowd.

Two days after suffering a 4-3 shootout loss to Vancouver, Detroit fell 4-3 to Colorado on Saturday and into an 0-2-1 skid overall. The Red Wings, however, took advantage of Tuesday's matchup against the league's worst team and regrouped with a 5-2 win at Columbus.

"We really needed a win," said Henrik Zetterberg, who scored the go-ahead goal and added an assist. "We had a few bodies out. The guys that came out did a really good job."

Playing without leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk (knee) and captain Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle), Detroit fell behind 2-1 early in the third period before scoring four unanswered in about a 10-minute stretch.

"They're a dangerous team. They know how to play the game. They play the right way," interim Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "Their core guys have been together a long time. They have an identity the way they play. When they smell blood, they seem to kick it up."

Detroit now looks for its momentum to carry over back home, where it has outscored Minnesota 42-22 during an 8-0-3 run.

The Wild (28-26-10), however, beat the visiting Red Wings 1-0 on Oct. 29 and also prevailed 2-1 in overtime in Detroit on Nov. 1. Minnesota has never defeated the Red Wings three consecutive times.

Despite a valiant effort to force overtime, the Wild dropped to 3-12-4 over their last 19 road games with Thursday's 5-4 shootout loss at Montreal. Minnesota trailed by three with under four minutes left in regulation before Matt Kassian, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi scored.

Kassian also found the back of the net in the first period for his first career point.

"That was quite a game," said Wild coach Mike Yeo, whose team moved to within five points of Dallas for eighth place in the Western Conference. "It's too bad we couldn't get that second point."

Niklas Backstrom stopped five of six shots before leaving with a leg injury 2:52 into the first period. Josh Harding went on to make 19 saves, dropping to 0-3-1 with a 3.54 goals-against average over his last four games.

Harding is expected to start Friday, and the Wild recalled Matt Hackett under emergency conditions.

Detroit's No. 2 goaltender Joey MacDonald made 28 saves versus the Blue Jackets, improving to 7-0-0 with a 1.70 GAA in his last seven contests. Jimmy Howard, however, could be back in goal in this one.

Howard has gone 0-2-1 with a 2.96 GAA since returning from an eight-game absence (broken finger), but is 4-1-1 with a 1.46 GAA in his last six meetings with the Wild.

While Datsyuk and Lidstrom both remain unavailable, defenseman Kyle Quincey (groin) could return for the Red Wings after sitting out Tuesday. Quincey practiced Thursday and is listed as a game-time decision.

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