Detroit matched a league standard with its 20th consecutive home win Sunday night against Philadelphia. The 4-3 regulation decision moved the Red Wings into a tie with the 1975-76 Flyers and 1929-30 Boston Bruins for the longest- ever home winning streaks and the Red Wings hope to have the record all to themselves after tonight.
The Red Wings haven't lost in the Motor City since a 4-1 setback against Calgary on Nov. 3 and Detroit is boasting a stellar 23-2-1 record at the Joe this season. The strong home play has helped offset a 15-15-1 road mark and is also a big reason Detroit is leading the Central Division, Western Conference and NHL with 78 points.
Detroit will also be trying to sweep the season series against the Stars after going 3-0 against Dallas so far in 2011-12. The Stars have won four of their last six games in Motown, but the Wings notched a 5-2 victory when the teams last met at the Joe on Nov. 12.
Johan Franzen scored 52 seconds into the third period on Sunday to break a 3-3 tie against the Flyers and the Red Wings were able to hold on for the win. Niklas Kronwall, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for the Red Wings, who are 3-0 at the start of a six-game homestand.
"It's been something special. Looking back, we've had some great teams over the last 20 years, but none that have been close to this record," said captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who played his 1,550th game -- all with Detroit. "So we should take a lot of pride in it."
Joey MacDonald had 26 saves in the latest victory, including 10 in the third period to keep the Flyers off the board. With regular No. 1 netminder Jimmy Howard sidelined with a broken finger, MacDonald has started the last four games for Detroit.
Howard suffered his finger injury on Feb. 2 and was originally expected to miss four-to-six weeks of action. That timeline has since changed dramatically and Howard could return to the crease as early as Friday's home test against Nashville.
In other injury news for Detroit, forward Danny Cleary is expected to miss a third straight game tonight with a lower-body issue.
The Stars are fighting desperately to stay afloat in the Western Conference playoff race, but losses in two straight and three of their last four games have not helped that cause. Dallas enters tonight as the 11th seed in the West and is four points behind the conference's final postseason berth.
After getting dealt a shootout loss Friday in Buffalo, the Stars returned to Texas and were handed Sunday's regulation loss by the Los Angeles Kings. LA scored the game's first two goals, but Dallas rallied to tie it at 2-2 by the early stages of the third period. The Kings, however, used the first goal of Jordan Nolan's NHL career and an empty-netter from Justin Williams to secure the win.
"We didn't start well, that's for sure," Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We gave them a goal early and had to press from behind. We obviously weren't ready to play in the beginning."
Dallas is 13-13-1 as the road team this year and has lost four of its last six away from the Lone Star State.
Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray has missed the last two games with a foot injury and he is questionable for tonight. Dallas captain Brenden Morrow (neck/back) is still on injured reserve and sidelined indefinitely.