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Red Wings host Hurricanes hoping to snap lengthy slide

(SportsNetwork.com) - Mired in their longest losing streak in decades, the Detroit Red Wings will try desperately to get back in the win column when they host the Carolina Hurricanes in Thursday's clash at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings enter Thursday on a seven-game losing streak, the club's first slide of that length since Jan. 14-30, 1991. After losing a 2-0 decision in Tuesday's game against visiting Nashville, the club also has lost its last eight in Detroit, marking the franchise's longest home losing streak since Nov. 19-Dec. 20, 1986.

Detroit has gained a point on five occasions during this slide and has lost the seven games by a slim total margin of nine goals. That's hardly consolation for a team that hasn't tasted victory since beating Edmonton 5-0 on Nov. 2.

The Red Wings couldn't get a shot past Marek Mazanec on Tuesday, as Nashville's rookie goaltender made 27 saves to notch his first career shutout. Gabriel Bourque and Shea Weber each had a goal for the Predators.

Jimmy Howard allowed both goals on 25 shots as Detroit fell to 3-3-6 at the Joe this season.

"It's just a frustrating time for us right now," Howard said. "It doesn't seem like anything's going our way out there, but you've got to go out there and work for your breaks."

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after practice on Wednesday that he's considering splitting up linemates Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg for tonight's game. Zetterberg is leading the team with 23 points, while Datsyuk is next with 22 points and also boasts a team-best 11 goals this season.

"We'll see tomorrow, they weren't together in practice today," Babcock said. "We have to win a game, right? So whatever we have to do to win a game and get going from there so everyone can breathe a little bit."

The Red Wings will be without defenseman Danny DeKeyser for the next several weeks after he sprained his left shoulder in Tuesday's loss. DeKeyser, who was placed on long term injured reserve on Wednesday, has played in 22 games this season, recording two goals and seven assists. The injury is expected to keep him sidelined for four-to-six weeks.

Detroit has dominated the series with the Hurricanes in recent years and Carolina hasn't earned a win in the Motor City since Nov. 14, 1989, when the club was still known as the Hartford Whalers.

The Red Wings are 14-0-0 with a tie in the past 15 regular-season encounters at Joe Louis Arena and also have a credited home victory in a game played in Cleveland, Ohio in 1994 during that span. Carolina also dropped two of three games in Detroit while losing the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals to the Red Wings in five.

Detroit also has claimed five of six from Carolina overall.

Carolina, meanwhile, is on a two-game slide of its own and last played Monday when it dropped a 4-1 home decision against the Boston Bruins. Tuukka Rask posted 23 saves for the win, while Cam Ward surrendered three goals on 29 shots in his return to the crease for Carolina.

Tuomo Ruutu scored the lone goal of the game for the Hurricanes, who had won two straight and four of five before this two-game slide.

Ward played for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury on Oct. 24 and said he needs some time to get back into the swing of things.

"I know I have to get my game back to where it needs to be," said Ward. "I'd rather look at the positives tonight than the negatives. I hate losing, but I felt a lot better in the second and third period."

Ward expects to get the start again on Thursday. He is just 1-4-1 with a 2.99 goals against average in six career games against the Red Wings.

Carolina has lost five straight on the road and is 3-5-0 as the guest this season. The 'Canes are opening a brief two-game trip tonight and will also visit Boston on Saturday.

11/21 11:13:23 ET

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Schedule

Thursday, April 24Full Scoreboard
Boston 4/24 8:00 PM ET
Detroit NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FSN-DET
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Boston leads series, 2-1.
Colorado 4/24 9:30 PM ET
Minnesota CNBC, TSN2, Alt, FSN-N,WI
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Colorado leads series, 2-1.
San Jose 4/24 10:30 PM ET
Los Angeles NBCSN, CBC, FSN-W, CSN-CA
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. San Jose leads series, 3-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 5
KAN 1
Final
PIT 1
CIN 2
9th
DET 7
CWS 4
 
8th
TAM 6
MIN 9
 
Final
NYM 4
STL 1
7th
CHC 1
ARI 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR