THE STORY: Josh Harding has been in goal for only three games in the past 19-plus months, and each time the opponent has been the Detroit Red Wings. Harding could make it four straight appearances against the Wings when the Minnesota Wild visits Detroit on Tuesday in the second game of a home-and-home series. Harding turned in a magnificent performance in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over the Red Wings, stopping all 36 shots to record his first shutout since Jan. 28, 2010. After missing the 2010-11 season because of injury, Harding was a hard-luck loser in his first start of the season, making 38 saves in a 3-2 overtime home loss to Detroit. Minnesota’s win Saturday snapped a four-game losing streak at the hands of the Red Wings and sent Detroit to its fourth consecutive defeat following a 5-0 start to the season.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Detroit
ABOUT THE WILD (4-3-3): Dany Heatley had the goal – his third of the season – in Saturday’s victory. Eight of Minnesota’s last nine games have been decided by one goal. The Wild have scored two goals or fewer in seven straight games and rank last in the Western Conference with 21 goals. After allowing eight goals in 31 chances while shorthanded, Minnesota stymied Detroit on four power-play chances Saturday. The Wild are only 5-for-40 with the man advantage.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (5-4-0): Detroit will be trying to avoid its first five-game losing streak since January 2009. The Red Wings had surrendered 15 goals in the first three games of the losing streak, but just as troubling has been their offensive ineptitude. Detroit has scored only four goals during the four-game skid after piling up 18 goals during the season-opening five-game winning streak. The Red Wings have outshot Minnesota 77-34 in the two matchups this season.
1. The Red Wings signed defenseman Niklas Kronwall to a seven-year, $33.25 million contract Monday.
2. Rookie Brett Bulmer, Minnesota’s second-round pick in 2010, was send back to his junior team in the Western Hockey League. He had three assists in nine goals.
PREDICTION: Red Wings 4, Wild 1. The avalanche of shots finally starts finding the net as Detroit ends its skid.