(Sports Network) - The struggling Philadelphia Flyers will try to get back on track defensively and also end a long winless streak in Detroit as they battle the Red Wings tonight at Joe Louis Arena.
The Flyers have surrendered a total of 20 goals over their last four games and the club was on the losing end in three of those contests. The lone win for Philadelphia over that stretch, and during the club's five-game road trip, came Thursday night in a 7-4 victory over Los Angeles.
One night after recording the win in LA, the Flyers were dealt a 5-2 loss in nearby Anaheim.
"I don't like the way we played," Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said of the loss to the Ducks. "The second period was nonchalant and flat for us."
The Flyers will now try to end the a lengthy losing streak in Detroit, where Philadelphia has not recorded a victory since a 4-3 decision on November 4, 1988. Philly has lost 15 times and posted two ties in the Motor City since then, giving the Flyers the longest current drought for one team in one city in the NHL.
Philadelphia did recorded a 4-3 home win over Detroit in the lone meeting between the clubs last season. That was the Flyers second win in the last three encounters overall.
The Red Wings expect to test the shaky Flyers defense today. Detroit leads the NHL with 131 goals this season and the Wings have scored 26 times while posting a 4-1-1 record over their last six games.
However, the Red Wings, who lead the Western Conference with 53 points, had a three-game winning streak halted in a recent loss against the visiting New York Islanders. P.A. Parenteau scored the game-winner with 63 seconds left in overtime to lift the Isles to a 4-3 win on New Year's Eve at Joe Louis Arena.
Parenteau banged home a cross-ice pass from John Tavares as the Islanders found themselves on a power play during the extra period when a frustrated Henrik Zetterberg was called for a holding penalty after missing a wide open net.
"We threw a lot of pucks at them, but we couldn't find that last goal," Zetterberg said.
Tomas Tatar had a memorable NHL debut, scoring the game-tying goal for the Red Wings with just nine seconds left in regulation. Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula also scored in the loss, while Jimmy Howardsurrendered four goals on 23 shots.
Despite the loss, Zetterberg and Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom both extended their respective point streaks to six games.
Friday's setback was the third loss in the last five home games for Detroit, which still has a solid 13-4-4 record at the Joe this year.
Detroit is currently playing without key forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Dan Cleary and Mike Modano and the club may not have winger Patrick Eaves in the lineup again tonight either. Eaves recorded his first career hat trick Wednesday night in a 7-3 win at Dallas, but sat out Friday's game with an upper-body injury. He is questionable for tonight.
Philadelphia is currently dealing with a significant injury to star defenseman Chris Pronger, who is out recovering from surgery to repair a broken right foot. The Flyers could get some toughness back into the lineup tonight, however, as forward Jody Shelley is eligible to return from a two-game suspension for a post-whistle punch delivered to Vancouver's Andrew Alberts on Tuesday.
The Flyers fell to 1-2-0 on their five-game road trip with the loss to the Ducks, but Philly is still 11-4-3 as the guest this season. They will complete the swing Thursday in New Jersey, but the Flyers will return to Philadelphia for just one game -- the finale of a home-and-home with the Devils -- before heading out on another four-game trek.
Jason Blake and Lubomir Visnovsky both scored twice as Anaheim handled Philadelphia at the Honda Center on New Year's Eve.
"We had breakdowns and they took advantage, which is a good testament to them being ready," said Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn.
Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who had won five straight before dropping three out of four.Andreas Nodl also scored in the loss and Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 22-of-27 shots for Philadelphia.
The Flyers have been carrying three goaltenders on their active roster and it's unclear if Bobrovsky, Michael Leighton or Brian Boucher will be in net tonight.