Red Wings welcome Hurricnaes, aim for fifth straight win

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings and the Carolina Hurricanes could both be without key players when they meet on Tuesday night.

Detroit hosts Carolina at Joe Louis Arena at 7:30.

Red Wings left wing and alternate captain Justin Abdelkader missed Saturday night's 3-0 win against the San Jose Sharks with a lower-body injury and he is day-to-day. Detroit coach Jeff Blashill has not ruled him out for Tuesday.

Abdelkader has a goal and is minus-2 in five games.

Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner's status is uncertain after he missed practice on Monday but worked out in the PNC Arena weight room.

Skinner did not appear to be injured Saturday during Carolina's 6-3 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. He was involved in a late scrap with Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds in front of the benches and each was sent off with a roughing penalty.

Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Skinner was not concussed but the team was waiting on results of medical testing. Skinner is day-to-day and will make the one-game game trip to Detroit.

"I think he's OK," Peters told the Charlotte News-Observer.

Skinner owns two goals and six points in five games and is tied with Lee Stempniak for the team scoring lead.

Carolina (1-2-2) has yet to play a home game this season.

Peters said the team has given up too many goals but does not blame goalies Came Ward and Eddie Lack.

He said the Canes' five-man play needed to be better, helping the goalies.

"We knew we had more skill. Now we have to make sure our work ethic is where it was last year," he said. "We had a very hard-working team last year. We've got to get back to that."

The Red Wings are 4-2-0 after winning four straight.

Before beating San Jose on Saturday, Detroit defeated the Nashville Predators 5-3 at home on Friday night to make it two straight against top teams from the Western Conference.

"These two games I think we took steps forward as a team," coach Jeff Blashill told mlive.com. "We got to measure ourselves against two real good teams. So far, everybody we've played was a playoff team last year, with the exception of Ottawa, and they look to be improved."

The Red Wings defensemen played particularly well in the last two wins and are doing a good job of limiting turnovers, preventing opponents from getting easy chances and getting the puck out of the zone quickly.

"I think we're playing better in our own end," left wing and captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "I think we're faster. We're stopping them a little easier. They're not spending as much time (in Red Wings' zone) as they did the first two games. When we do that, we spend more time in their end."

Detroit defenseman Mike Green was the NHL's Third Star for last week after his first career hat trick in a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators in the season opener at Joe Louis Arena.

Green also posted two assists in four games.