Friday, January 16, 2004

GameDay: vs. Phoenix (16-14-12-2, 46) 7:30 EST

Tonight is the first of four games the Wings will play with Phoenix this season. The Wings are coming off a 4-2 home win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday but lost the game before that to the Bruins, 2-1 in overtime. They are 4-1-0-1 this month and will look to improve to 15 games over .500 for the first time this season. They have a small one-point lead over Colorado and Vancouver for first place in the Western Conference and are six points a head of St. Louis in the Central Division. The Joe has been good to the Wings all year, as evidenced by their 18-4-1 record when playing at home. The Coyotes have lost back-to-back games for the first time since the end of November and are winless in three since riding Brian Boucher's record-setting five-game shutout streak. They had a nine-game road unbeaten streak broken last night when they lost 4-3 to Nashville. Brian Boucher did not start in that game. I expect Curtis Joseph to make the start for the Wings tonight. Head coach Dave Lewis said that Steve Thomas may return to the ice next weekend near the end of the five-game road trip out West coming up. He also said Darren McCarty may make the trip to continue rehabilitating. The Wings will need to put forth a good effort tonight. Brian Boucher is the league's hottest goalie and the Wings will have to take advantage of the chances they get. This would be a good game for Brett Hull to start scoring again and for the Wings' power play to regain its dominance. The Captain has a chance tonight to be just the seventh player to reach 1,700 points. He is one point away from that milestone and needs just two points to tie Mario Lemieux for sixth place all-time. Freep | News | ESPN


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