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Red Wings seek to extend shutout streak against Wild

The Detroit Red Wings aim for their third consecutive shutout when they visit the Minnesota Wild tonight at Xcel Energy Center.

The Red Wings opened the 2011-12 season with a 5-3 win versus Ottawa, then Ty Conklin stopped all 29 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory at Colorado last Saturday. It was Conklin's first shutout of the season and 17th of his career.

Jimmy Howard followed suit in Thursday's 2-0 victory over Vancouver, as he notched his first shutout of the season with 25 saves. Howard has recorded a shutout six times in his career and received goals from Justin Abdelkader and Valtteri Filppula for support.

"We played good defense tonight against a strong offense," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "We were just overall competitive tonight and Howard was sharp."

New defenseman Mike Commodore did not play because of a knee injury for the Red Wings, who were 0-for-7 on the power play and fell to 0-for-16 with the man advantage this season. Commodore skated this week for just the second time since suffering the injury last month.

"It's getting better," Commodore told the team's site. "Just to be able to get out there and skate a little bit ... in a lot of ways it's fine, but there's a lot of ways, where I have to pull with that leg.

"Some days it feels good. Then it plateaus for a while. It's not getting any worse. Just kind of extending my stride and then anything where I'm pulling in with my knee, I can't really do. Other than that, it's OK."

The last time Detroit opened a season 4-0 was 1997-98, when they won their first four games and started 5-0 with a tie.

Minnesota was able to get back into the win column its last time out with a 2-1 shootout victory versus Edmonton on Thursday in the opener of a three-game homestand. The Wild had lost two in a row since a season-opening win over Columbus.

Devin Setoguchi's goal in the fourth round of a shootout gave the Wild the victory, while Matt Cullen scored the Wild's goal in regulation. Netminder Niklas Backstrom stopped 21-of-22 shots, as the Wild took their 17th straight victory over Edmonton at Xcel Energy Center. Edmonton hasn't won in the Twin Cities since January 16, 2007 and has now lost seven straight and 12 of its past 15 overall in this series.

"Backstrom gave us a great chance to get the win," Wild defenseman Greg Zanon said. "Once we got our legs under ourselves we were moving the puck quicker and the forwards were doing their jobs."

The Wild's current 17-game home win streak over the Oilers ties the longest in the NHL behind the Predators' 17-game home run over the Blue Jackets.

Minnesota will also host Pittsburgh on its residency.

Detroit won three of four contests with Minnesota a year ago and is 21-3-3 with a pair of ties in the previous 29 matchups between the two teams. Detroit is 10-2-1 with a tie in its last 14 at Minnesota.