Feb 8th NHL Hockey Odds: Edmonton Oilers at Detroit Red Wings
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Four days ago, the Edmonton Oilers proved the league-leading Detroit Red Wings were not invincible in the shootout. On Wednesday, they have the opportunity to make another statement as they attempt to end the Red Wings' franchise-record 17-game winning streak at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit, which is three home victories away from tying the NHL record, are an astounding 20-2-1 at home. Its last loss in its own building came on Nov. 3, when it dropped a 4-1 decision to Calgary. The Red Wings kick off a six-game homestand against an Oilers squad that has lost seven in a row and 14 of 15 on the road. Edmonton, which had its three-game winning streak snapped at Toronto on Monday, has won just eight of its last 29 games in Motown.
Edmonton Oilers (21-27-5): Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' return from a separated left shoulder was a short one as the rookie injured the same body part in Monday's loss at Toronto. Nugent-Hopkins, who was playing in his second game after missing 13, is expected to be sidelined for seven to 10 days. The 18-year old paid immediate dividends in his return by scoring the decisive goal in the shootout win over Detroit on Saturday. The line of Sam Gagner, Taylor Hall and All-Star Jordan Eberle has been a major force of late. Gagner (six goals, seven assists) and Eberle (six goals, nine points) both are riding four-game points streaks while Hall has collected nine points over his last five contests. Eberle also has a goal in each of his last four matches. Coach Tom Renney may miss his second straight game after taking a puck in the head in Monday's morning skate.
Detroit Red Wings (35-17-2): All-Star Jimmy Howard is expected to miss his first home game of the season and third overall with a broken right index finger. Joey MacDonald, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Tuesday, is likely to get the nod over Ty Conklin. Pavel Datsyuk is having trouble with his wrist, an ailment that allowed him to take just one faceoff in Monday's loss at Phoenix. The All-Star will probably be prohibited from taking draws for the next few contests. Henrik Zetterberg, who has reached the 20-goal plateau in seven of his first eight NHL seasons, has just nine tallies in 54 matches this campaign. The 31-year old has one goal in his last 23 games.
The league record for consecutive home
wins is 20 set by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and matched by the 1975-76
2. Detroit has failed to earn a point in just two of its last 39 meetings with Edmonton.
3. The Oilers have won only 20 of their last 92 road contests.
NHL PREDICTION: Red Wings 5, Oilers 2
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