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Red Wings Face Sharks, Try To Rebound From Last Night's Loss

(Sports Network) - The Red Wings suffered a bit of an offensive power outage last night in their first road loss in almost a month. They'll need to rebound quickly Thursday night given that the Sharks haven't lost at home in nearly two months.

Detroit seeks its fourth straight series road victory against San Jose, which seeks an eighth straight victory overall and seventh in a row at home in tonight's matchup at HP Pavilion.

The Red Wings are a solid 22-8-3 as the guest this year, but had a six-game road winning streak end with last night's 2-1 loss in Anaheim. Jimmy Howard made 26 saves, but couldn't stop Bobby Ryan's penalty shot with 2:10 left in overtime.

Pavel Datsyuk had Detroit's lone goal as the club went 1-for-9 on the power play and had a two-game win streak broken. Still, the point kept the Red Wings within four points of NHL-leading Vancouver.

"Their goalie made some saves and we missed a couple of open nets," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. "The game was set up for us to find a way to get a win and we didn't."

The Red Wings suffered their first road setback since Feb. 5 and play the fourth contest of a five-game road trip. They might be without defenseman Brian Rafalski for a fourth straight game due to back spasms.

Detroit has won its last three at HP Pavilion, including a 5-3 win there on Nov. 30. Henrik Zetterberg had a pair of goals and two assists, while Datsyuk scored and set up two other tallies.

Howard, who leads the NHL with 31 victories, is 3-2-1 with a 2.81 goals- against average versus the Sharks and has started all three games versus them this year. That includes a pair of home losses on Dec. 6 and Feb. 22.

Joe Thornton had a goal and two assists in the most recent meeting and is one of five San Jose skaters with two goals against Detroit this season. Thornton netted his 16th goal of the season late in regulation on Tuesday night to force overtime and Ryane Clowe had the only tally of the shootout.

On the same day he signed a four-year contract extension, Antti Niemi made 18 saves for the Sharks, who are on their longest winning streak of the season at seven in a row and are 16-12-1 in their last 19 games.

San Jose, which leads Phoenix by four points for the top spot in the Pacific Division, opened a six-game homestand with its sixth straight victory at HP Pavilion. It hasn't lost as the host since Jan. 13.

"We get most of the games at home this month which is fun to play in front of all our fans," forward Devin Setoguchi told his team's website on Wednesday. "We did a great job being on the road and getting wins, but now we have to play in front of our own fans and get some wins."

San Jose, which last won eight straight from Dec. 17-Jan. 2 of last season, could be without blueliner Dan Boyle again tonight due to an upper-body injury.

Niemi has solid career numbers versus the Red Wings, going 4-1-1 with a 2.15 GAA.