Found November 15, 2011 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
(AP) -- Long the NHL's model of consistency, the Detroit Red Wings have been nothing but streaky through their first 15 games.
They're hoping their latest run doesn't end anytime soon.
After following a hot start with six straight losses, the Red Wings look for their second five-game winning streak of the season Tuesday night when they open a four-game road swing against the St. Louis Blues.
Having made the playoffs every season since 1990-91, Detroit (9-5-1) appeared to be every bit of a powerhouse once again while opening the season with five consecutive wins.
After outscoring opponents 18-7 in that stretch, though, the Red Wings hit a precipitous funk. Detroit was outscored 22-6 during an 0-5-1 span that left it wondering what happened to its offense.
The latter two-thirds of a six-game homestand seemed to indicate it's back. The Red Wings have won four straight after Saturday's 5-2 victory over Dallas, the third game in that stretch in which they've scored five goals.
"We have a lot of talent in here," said defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who has three goals and two assists with a plus-8 rating during the latest winning streak. "I think we believed in ourselves when we hit that slump, but now, we're shooting the puck and we're getting traffic, too. That's something we talked a lot about."
While Detroit has picked it up offensively over the past week at home - Johan Franzen has five goals and four assists to lead the way in the last four games - scoring on the road has been a far different story. The Red Wings have eight goals in five games away from Joe Louis Arena, scoring twice in the last three.
They'll spend this trip without one of their more pleasant surprises from the season's first month. Newly signed defenseman Ian White, who has seven points and is a plus-8, will miss at least 10 days with a fractured cheekbone from taking a puck to the face Saturday while diving in the crease to protect a one-goal lead.
"You like to see guys selling out," coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't like to see guys get hit in the face, but a great message to his teammates, and he competes every night."
Goals could be tough to come by on Detroit's first stop before concluding its trip in California. The Blues (8-7-1) haven't allowed any in two of their last three games, pulling above .500 as Brian Elliott made 19 saves in Saturday's 3-0 win over Tampa Bay.
"That was the complete game we've been wanting," said Elliott, 6-1-0 with a 1.49 goals-against average. "Everybody was hustling. Everybody was working hard. No one took a shift off."
Elliott's play has been critically important considering starter Jaroslav Halak is 2-6-1 with a 2.78 GAA, and coach Ken Hitchcock is expected to stick with the hot hand Tuesday.
Elliott, however, is 0-2-0 with a 3.40 GAA versus Detroit.
The Blues were 2-3-1 against the Red Wings last season but dominated the most recent meeting, winning 10-3 at Joe Louis Arena on March 30.
Patrik Berglund had a goal and an assist in that contest and finished the season series with four goals and four assists.
Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and seven assists against St. Louis in 2010-11, while Lidstrom had a team-high four goals.
Jimmy Howard has a 1.66 GAA this season to rank third in the Western Conference - Elliott is first - and has won five straight starts against the Blues while posting a 2.59 GAA.
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