Saturday, January 24, 2004

GameDay: @ Phoenix (17-15-13-2, 49) 9:00 EST

Tonight is the second of four meetings between these two teams this season. The teams skated to a 3-3 tie in the first game on January 16 in Detroit. The Wings will be trying to win their second consecutive road game tonight, something they haven't done since mid-November. They beat the LA Kings 5-4 on Thursday night and improved to 1-1-1 so far on their five-game road trip. They are 10-10-4-2 and 2-2-2-2 in their last eight games, a stretch where they have just scored 16 goals. The Coyotes are beginning a stretch where they will play six consecutive games at home. They are 1-3-2 in their previous five games, with that one win coming on Thursday, a 2-1 decision with the Sharks in San Jose. They are 7-8-3-1 at home this year. Curtis Joseph should make the start. I see this as a good chance for the Wings to get another win. They need to pull above .500 on this road trip and tonight is the last chance they have to do that. Hopefully, they'll show greater focus on defense than they did Thursday night and not led any lead slip away. It would be good for Brett Hull to score another goal tonight so he can get on a roll again after breaking his hugely long goal drought. The Wings will need Jamie Rivers to step it up like he did Thursday night in the absence of Niklas Kronwall. I expect a good game out of the Wings, who should have at least a small level of frustration for almost blowing the Kings game on Thursday. ESPN


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