The fast start of the Detroit Red Wings has afforded them few chances to avenge losses.
One such opportunity has arrived as they start a three-game road trip against Northwest Division opponents in a matchup with the Vancouver Canucks.
The Red Wings suffered their first loss of the season to the Canucks, 4-2 on Oct. 10. Detroit has gone 12-1-1 since that defeat and enters this contest with a three-game winning streak after a 3-1 victory Friday over Minnesota.
Manny Legace needed to make only 16 saves for the Red Wings, who controlled play by being patient against the Wild’s neutral-zone trap.
“That’s the way they play,” Legace said. “They just sit back and wait and capitalize on your mistakes.”
Legace has been dominant on the road with a 5-0 record, 1.40 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and two shutouts.
The Red Wings are riding a franchise-record 10-game road winning streak that includes the final three games of the 2003-04 season. Detroit has outscored opponents 31-10 on the road this season, and has not allowed a third-period goal away from home since Oct. 13.
The Red Wings also lead the NHL in penalty killing on the road, yielding four power-play goals in 48 chances (91.3 percent).
Their road trip also includes games at Calgary and Edmonton.
The Canucks had their seven-game home winning streak snapped in a 5-3 defeat Thursday at Colorado. Alex Auld allowed four first-period goals as Vancouver was outshot 18-5 and never got back into the game.
Despite losing three straight overall, the Canucks are not overly worried as they prepare for this game.
“I’m not going to say we’re an old team but we’ve been around and we’ve seen enough stuff before not to panic,” Vancouver right wing Todd Bertuzzi said at practice Friday. “That’s where teams get in trouble, panicking on days like this, when you didn’t do well the night before. There’s nothing you can about it.”
Goaltender Dan Cloutier practiced Friday and is expected to start. He was the backup Thursday, missing his fifth straight game as he recovers from a concussion.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 12): Red Wings - 31 points, 1st place, Central Division. Canucks - 22 points, 1st place (tied), Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Brendan Shanahan, 10 goals; Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Williams, 14 assists; Datsyuk, 21 points; Chris Chelios, 54 PIM. Canucks - Markus Naslund, 10 goals and 20 points; Ed Jovanovski, 11 assists; Wade Brookbank, 34 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 12): Red Wings - Power play: 25.4 percent (28 for 110), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 87 percent (94 for 108), 4th. Canucks - Power play: 17 percent (21 for 123), 19th. Penalty killing: 81.1 percent (82 for 101), 19th.
GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Legace (12-1-0, 2 SO, 1.87 GAA); Chris Osgood (3-1-1, 2.33). Canucks - Cloutier (5-2-1, 3.54); Auld (5-3-1, 2.56).
SEASON SERIES: Canucks, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 10; Canucks, 4-2. At Detroit, Anson Carter snapped a 2-2 tie with 8:14 to play, and Henrik Sedin had a goal and two assists as the Canucks handed Legace his only loss of the season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 7-0-0 on the road; Canucks - 7-1-0 at home.