The Detroit Red Wings have won their last four road games on the strength of Jimmy Howard’s goaltending. Detroit will try to continue that trend on Monday when it visits the Phoenix Coyotes.
Howard stopped 66 of 68 shots in back-to-back victories over Anaheim this past weekend and has only allowed more than two goals in one game this month - a 4-2 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. The Red Wings' power play has registered at least a goal in each of the last seven games. Their penalty killing has only yielded two goals in 18 opportunities.
The Coyotes are winless in their last five games (0-4-1) and have managed only three goals in that span. Starting goaltender Mike Smith left Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Vancouver after being hit by Daniel Sedin and Alexander Edler and remains day-to-day, which means Jason LaBarbera could receive his fourth start - and first since March 6 - on Monday. The Coyotes went 1-for-4 on the power play to snap a four-game scoring drought with the man advantage in Thursday’s loss.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Arizona
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (16-11-5): Defenseman Kyle Quincey will be sidelined for the next few weeks with a fractured cheekbone after a puck hit him in the face on March 15 against Edmonton. Detroit recalled rookie Gustav Nyquist from the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins, with whom he collected 60 points in 58 games. Pavel Datsyuk has nine points in his last seven games - his most productive stretch since a five-game goal streak from Feb. 9-19.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (13-14-4): Netminder Chad Johnson, who recorded a shutout in his first start for the Coyotes, was called up from the AHL and will likely serve as LaBarbera’s backup if Smith cannot play. Phoenix’s winless streak coincides with the loss of defenseman Zbynek Michalek, who has missed the last six games with a lower-body injury. Michalek leads the team with 68 blocked shots. Captain Shane Doan and Antoine Vermette are the only two Coyotes players with goals in the last five games. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson assisted on Vermette’s goal on Thursday for his first point in six games.
1. This is the first of a three-game season series between Phoenix and Detroit. The Red Wings have won six of the last 10 regular-season meetings between the teams.
2. The Red Wings have won two first-round playoff series against Phoenix in the previous three seasons. Detroit won in seven games in 2010 and swept the Coyotes in 2011.
3. Datsyuk has 55 points in 38 career games against Phoenix.