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Red Wings Open Road Trip In Edmonton

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to avoid just their second three-game losing streak of the season and deal the Edmonton Oilers a seventh consecutive loss in the process as the two clubs get together this evening at Rexall Place.

Detroit has dropped back-to-back home games, getting dealt a 4-3 overtime setback by the Islanders on New Year's Eve before a 3-2 loss to the Flyers on Sunday. It marked the Red Wings' first loss of any kind to Philadelphia in Detroit since Nov. 4, 1988.

Jimmy Howard got the start in net and allowed three goals on 27 shots over two periods. Chris Osgood finished with the game by halting all five shots he faced, while Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg both scored in the third period to pull the Red Wings to within a goal.

"I like responding in the first [period]. That's the way to win," said Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock. "Catch-up hockey is losing hockey and we can't do that all the time. Once in a while you can pull something out of your hat but not often."

Detroit last loss three in a row from Dec. 4-8 and the Central Division leaders are now two points behind Vancouver for the most in the NHL. The Red Wings hit the road for five straight and have won their last three as the guest.

Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom stretched their respective point streaks to seven games and both have four goals and seven assists on the run. Johan Franzen has three goals and four helpers over a six-game point streak.

Patrick Eaves missed his second game in a row on Sunday due to an elbow injury, while Brad Stuart left the contest after getting hit in the back of the head by a shot. Both players could return for this contest.

The Oilers are on their third six-game skid of the season, having also done so in the months of October and November. Edmonton will try to avoid losing seven in a row for the first time since an epic 13-game slide on Dec. 31-Jan 30 of last season.

Edmonton fell to 0-2-1 on a five-game homestand with Saturday's 2-1 loss to Calgary. Ryan Jones had the lone goal and Nikolai Khabibulin made 28 saves.

"I thought we did a good job of getting things set up," said Edmonton forward Taylor Hall. "But then the pass would be made and the puck would bounce and we'd have to do it again."

Edmonton lost rookie Jordan Eberle to an ankle injury and he isn't expected to play in this contest. Magnus Paajarvi, who was a healthy scratch on Saturday, is slated to rejoin the lineup and the rookie will skate on the first line with Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner.

"They're great hockey players," Paajarvi told Edmonton's website of Hemsky and Gagner. "But I've been playing great hockey this year, too. I'm just going to try and go out there and do what I do best, and I know they have really good assets too, so I think we can be a really good line.

"Hopefully we can create something. I'm just going to go out there and focus -- the first thing on myself."

Edmonton has lost three straight and seven of its last 10 versus Detroit, getting outscored 9-3 in the two meetings so far this season. The Red Wings halted a two-game losing streak at Rexall Place with a 3-1 victory on Nov. 5.

Zetterberg has five assists in his last four games versus the Oilers and Howard has started both victories this year, making 52 saves. He is 3-1-2 with a 2.93 goals-against average in his career when facing Edmonton and will likely square off against Khabibulin for the third time in 2010-11.

Khabibulin, who has stopped 55-of-63 shots faced in the two games this year, is 2-4-1 with a 3.50 GAA in his last eight versus the Red Wings, allowing at least four goals in five of those contests.

UPDATE: Chris Osgood will get the start in net tonight after relieving Jimmy Howard before the third period of Sunday's game. Osgood will go for his 401st career win, which would move him just two behind idol Grant Fuhr on the all-time list. Also, Patrick Eaves will return after missing two games. Rookie Tomas Tatar will sit and Jan Mursak remains in the lineup.