The Red Wings will try to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly three weeks when they face the struggling Coyotes on Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena.
While Detroit (32-11-7) ended a five-game slide with Monday’s 4-3 shootout win over visiting St. Louis, Phoenix (24-23-5) endured a fourth straight loss, falling 2-1 Tuesday in Nashville.
Injuries to two top forwards and a struggling penalty kill hampered the Red Wings during their 0-4-1 stretch, which included a 6-3 road loss Jan. 20 to the Coyotes. Before those five defeats, the Red Wings capped an 8-0-1 run with consecutive wins at Anaheim and Los Angeles on Jan. 14-15.
Back spasms have caused Henrik Zetterberg to miss three games after signing a 12-year, $73 million deal, and Tomas Holmstrom has sat out the past two contests with a groin injury. While Zetterberg could return Wednesday, Holmstrom remains doubtful.
Zetterberg, who had a team-leading 43 goals last season, has 17 this season and is third on the Red Wings with 43 points. Holmstrom has 14 goals and 30 points.
Poor penalty killing continued to be an issue Monday for Detroit, which blew three one-goal leads in regulation by allowing the Blues to score three times with the man advantage.
The Red Wings, who have allowed goals on 12 of their last 27 short-handed situations, needed Chris Osgood to stop two of three shootout attempts to secure a long-awaited win.
“It doesn’t matter how ugly or pretty it was,” said Marian Hossa, who had the deciding shootout goal. “We finally ended the losing streak and now we can build on something.”
Hossa also scored twice against the Blues and has nine goals in the last 12 games for a team-leading 26. Pavel Datsyuk also has seven assists during a five-game point streak, and Niklas Kronwall has 10 assists in his last 10 games.
However, the league’s top offense, which has averaged 3.54 goals, has failed to score more than three times in regulation in each of its past five games.
Phoenix fell 2-0 Saturday to Buffalo and again Thursday at San Jose, and only Joel Perrault’s third-period goal - his first of the season - kept the Coyotes from a third straight shutout Tuesday, ending a 187:56 scoreless streak.
“It feels good personally, but I think we missed too many chances,” Perrault said. “That’s been the story the last three games. We’re playing well. The effort is there.”
Mueller has not played since suffering a concussion in a 7-3 loss Jan. 27 to Anaheim, and Reinprecht injured his shoulder in Thursday’s loss to the Sharks.
While Mueller’s status is not known for Wednesday, Reinprecht will likely sit out, but could return as early as Saturday against Carolina. Mueller is third on the Coyotes with 12 goals and 30 points, and Reinprecht has nine goals and 19 assists this season.
The Coyotes’ win Jan. 20 ended a nine-game losing streak to Detroit, but Phoenix has lost four straight to the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.