(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings find themselves in the midst of acrowded playoff race in the Western Conference. A brief return home could netthem two big points given their recent history at Joe Louis Arena against theMinnesota Wild.
The Red Wings try to extend a 13-game home point streak over the Wild and dealthe Northwest Division co-leaders a setback in Minnesota's finale of a three-game trip.
Detroit has followed up a three-game slide with back-to-back road victories inEdmonton and Vancouver. The Red Wings return home looking to win threestraight for the first time since Feb. 7-10 before hitting the road foranother four in a row beginning Friday in Anaheim.
Currently seventh in the West with 33 points, Detroit is one point behind St.Louis and Vancouver, but just three points ahead of a trio of other teams.
The Red Wings look for two big points on Wednesday and are 10-0-3 in theirlast 13 at home versus the Wild. That includes a 5-3 victory on Jan. 25 andDetroit has not dropped a home decision in regulation to Minnesota since Jan.3, 2006.
The Wild did beat the Red Wings for just the third time in the past ninemeetings overall by claiming a 3-2 victory at home on Feb. 17.
Detroit finished up a three-game road trip with Saturday's 5-2 victory overVancouver. The Canucks' Alex Burrows scored just six seconds into the game,but Justin Abdelkader answered six minutes later and Henrik Zetterberg put theRed Wings up for good with a goal at the 13:57 mark of the second.
Zetterberg and Abdelkader both scored twice, Daniel Cleary had a goal andPavel Datsyuk notched three assists.
"Today was a tough start, but we just stuck with it and tried to keep itsimple," said Zetterberg, who scored his first goals in 11 games. He has 30points in 29 games this season.
Jimmy Howard posted 33 saves for the Red Wings, including a stop on a second-period penalty shot with his club up just a goal.
Kyle Quincey missed Saturday's game with a fractured cheekbone and brokenfacial bone suffered when he was hit in the face by a puck in Friday's 3-2overtime win over the Oilers. He could miss 4-to-6 weeks and was replaced inSaturday's lineup by Ian White.
The Wild will try to pick up a rare regulation victory in Detroit aftersnapping an 11-game slide in Vancouver with Monday's 3-1 victory over theCanucks. It was Minnesota's first victory there since Jan. 31, 2009 and it putthe Wild two points ahead of the Canucks for first place in the Northweststandings.
"There's no question they have been the class of the division the last fewyears and they are the team to beat coming into just about every season in ourdivision, so we know how important it is to come in here and finally get awin," said forward Matt Cullen, who scored in the victory.
The Wild enter play on Wednesday once again even with the Canucks atop thedivision after Vancouver beat St. Louis on Tuesday. Minnesota does have a gamein hand.
Niklas Backstrom made 35 saves in Monday's win, while Jonas Brodin and CharlieCoyle also had a goal. Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two assists for the Wild, whohave won three straight games for the first time this season as well as fiveof their last six.
Minnesota is shooting tonight for its longest winning streak since takingseven straight from Nov. 28-Dec. 10 of last year.