DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings begin a 5-game road trip Saturday night in Dallas where they will meet a tough Stars team.
The Red Wings (18-14-10) have been good on the road all season (12-4-3) and hope that trend continues as they visit the Stars, the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings, the Anaheim Ducks and the New York Rangers before returning to Detroit on Jan. 18 to host the Kings.
About the Red Wings (18-14-10, 46 points): The Winter Classic didn't have the outcome Detroit would have wanted as the Toronto Maple Leafs prevailed in a shootout, 3-2. However, the Wings gained another important point to keep them in a playoff spot.
The team remains riddled with key injuries. Jonathan Ericsson, Stephen Weiss, Johan Franzen and Darren Helm all are out of the lineup. Goalie Jimmy Howard (6 wins, 2.72 GAA, .907 SV%, 2 SO) returned for the Winter Classic and he likely will get the start Saturday night with Petr Mrazek on the bench. Goalie Jonas Gustavsson is still out with a sore groin.
Defenseman Danny DeKeyser is back out of the lineup with a lower body injury.
Justin Abdelkader and Henrik Zetterberg have returned from their injuries to offer the team much-needed depth on offense.
About the Stars (20-13-7, 47 points): The Dallas Stars are a team on the rise but they are playing in a treacherous Western Conference with powerhouse teams such as Chicago, St. Louis, Anaheim and San Jose. Their 47 points aren't enough to earn them a playoff spot at this point as they sit in 9th place, 2 points behind the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Stars have enjoyed success from young players such as Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alex Chiasson and Valeri Nichushkin. The future looks bright for Dallas but right now they could use some help on the blueline while Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley and Sergei Gonchar are all out of the lineup with injuries.
When healthy, goalie Kari Lehtonen (16 wins, 2.54 GAA, .918 SV%, 1 SO) has been stellar between the pipes. Expect him to get the start Saturday night.
TV: 8 p.m., FSD, FSSW
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