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Red Wings Continue Homestand By Hosting Avalanche Tonight

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to keep heading in the right direction tonight, when they host the Colorado Avalanche for a battle at Joe Louis Arena.

This evening's tilt marks the second meeting this year between these Western Conference rivals. Detroit also hosted the Avalanche on October 12 and Colorado was able to record a 5-4 shootout victory when Brandon Yip scored the only goal in the deciding phase.

Colorado has taken six of nine overall from the Red Wings and the Avs have won four out of five in the Motor City.

However, the Red Wings enter tonight with two straight wins and victories in five of their last six outings. Detroit, which is tied with St. Louis for first place in the Central Division, breezed to a win in its most recent game, pounding visiting Edmonton, 6-2, on Thursday.

Tomas Holmstrom and Dan Cleary both scored twice to lead the Red Wings to the easy victory over the Oilers. Detroit was up 3-0 after one period and extended that advantage to 5-0 after 40 minutes.

"We don't want to read more into it than what it is, but it was a good game for our team," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said of the offensive outburst. "We didn't give up much."

Johan Franzen got his 100th career goal, while Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Red Wings. Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard finished with 23 saves and is expected to get the start again tonight.

Both Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk enter tonight riding 10-game point streaks, tying them for the longest current stretches in the NHL. Cleary has also recorded a point in six straight games for Detroit and Mike Modano has reached the scoresheet in his last five outings.

Detroit is 2-0 so far on a six-game homestand and Babcock's club has a superb 6-1-1 mark as the host this season.

Colorado is also coming off an impressive win, posting a 5-1 triumph Friday in Columbus. It was the second win in three games and fourth in six contests for the Avalanche.

The Avs fell behind 1-0 in Friday's game, but they would score the final five goals at Nationwide Arena.

David Jones tallied twice and added an assist while Paul Stastny, Greg Mauldin and Philippe Dupuis also lit the lamp for the Avalanche. Peter Budaj made 28 saves to earn the win for the visitors.

"I thought it was a good game," Colorado head coach Joe Sacco said. "I thought we started on time. I thought we came out ready to play. I thought we showed those guys we were ready to play and it made a difference in the game."

Colorado is 5-2-1 as the guest this year and has won its last two road games. After tonight's test, the Avs will return to Denver for a three-game homestand.