RED WINGS (25-13-1) at MAPLE LEAFS (20-15-5)
TV: CBC, NHLN-US (HD), FS-Detroit (HD)
LAST 10: Detroit 6-4-0; Toronto 4-4-2
Season Series: Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada showdown at Air Canada Centre is the first and only meeting between these Original Six rivals this season. Detroit won last season's lone game 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena in what was the 643rd meeting in the organizations' storied histories.
Big Story: Both teams are coming into this game feeling good after victories, with the Red Wings downing the Stars 5-4 in Dallas on Tuesday and the Leafs pasting the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 at home on Thursday night. The Wings are hampered by groin injuries to fourth-line veteran Tomas Holmstrom and speedy energy-line center Darren Helm, both of whom will miss the game. The Leafs, meanwhile, have five on injured reserve and got Matthew Lombardi back on New Year's Eve in Winnipeg after an 18-game absence with an upper-body injury. Toronto has gotten points out of six of its last eight games and has only lost in regulation twice in its last 10 games at Air Canada Centre.
Red Wings: The Wings' home-road split can't be emphasized enough. Not only is their record slightly-below par on the road, despite the win at Dallas on Tuesday, but they've also allowed one more goal (56) than they've scored (55) in 21 games away from home. Meanwhile, they've got a whopping plus-41 goal margin at Joe Louis Arena - where they've scored 73 goals and allowed just 32 in 18 games. Continuing to improve that first stat, away from home, is an ongoing theme. Goalie Jimmy Howard will also be aiming for his 100th career win against the Leafs - which will be CBC's nationally-televised Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
"It's Hockey Night in Canada; it's Monday Night Football for Canada," Howard told Mlive.com's Ansar Khan. "Everyone is tuned into it. If the crowd is anything like it is (in Detroit) when we meet, it should be
Maple Leafs: Toronto's 4-0 win at home Thursday night against the Winnipeg Jets couldn't have gone much better in terms of the stat sheet. They got goals from Phil Kessel, Tim Connolly, Mikhail
Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur and at the other end of the rink got Jonas Gustavsson's second career shutout - his first since December 2009. The only bad news was star defenseman Dion Phaneuf getting hit in the face late in the third with a slap shot, but Leafs coach Ron Wilson said Friday that Phaneuf will play against Detroit.