The Pacific Division leaders look to bring an end to the Red Wings' 22-game home winning streak this afternoon with their fifth straight victory in Motown.
Detroit broke the NHL's single-season record for most consecutive wins with a triumph over Dallas on Tuesday. The Red Wings furthered the run on Friday with a 2-1 win over the Predators, getting the game-winning goal from Pavel Datsyuk with less than six seconds left to play. He was sprung up the middle of the ice by a pass from Henrik Zetterberg, who played despite a lower-body issue and logged his 600th career point.
Johan Franzen had the other goal for the Red Wings, who matched the Boston Bruins for the longest home winning streak over multiple seasons. The Bruins won their final 20 games of the 1929-30 season and opened the following campaign with a pair of home wins.
"We find a way," said Detroit goaltender Joey MacDonald. "In regulation, overtime, [six] seconds left, we seem to find a way."
MacDonald made 20 saves and has been in net for each contest of Detroit's current five-game win streak while Jimmy Howard recovers from a broken right index finger. Howard has missed the past five games and is expected to return on Tuesday versus the Blackhawks, leaving one more start for the streaking MacDonald.
The Red Wings wrap a six-game homestand and are 25-2-1 as the host this year compared to 15-15-1 on the road. They lead the NHL with 82 points, good enough for a three-point edge over the second-place Blues in the Central Division.
Detroit has lost its last five overall versus San Jose however, and that includes a 4-2 loss at home back on Oct. 28. The Sharks have won their last four trips to Joe Louis Arena in the regular season, having not lost in Detroit since a 2-1 shootout setback on Nov. 5, 2009.
The Sharks could certainly use the momentum, having dropped to 1-2-1 on a nine-game road trip with Friday's 3-2 defeat in Carolina. Dan Boyle and Brent Burns scored 2:26 apart early in the third to tie the game, but the Hurricanes notched the game-winner midway through the frame.
"They were bigger and stronger than we were, quite frankly, and all of a sudden in the third period, we found it," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "That desperation has to be there earlier."
Dominic Moore logged an assist in his San Joss debut after getting acquired from Tampa Bay on Thursday for a second-round pick.
Thomas Greiss made 22 saves, with McLellan going with his backup over Antti Niemi. The No. 1 was drilled for a season-high six goals in a 6-5 loss to the Lightning on Thursday and McLellan was critical of his goaltender afterwards, saying Niemi needed to be better.
The Sharks' slump has dropped their lead over the Coyotes for first place in the Pacific Division to two points.
Defenseman Douglas Murray missed Friday's game versus Carolina with a throat injury.