|The Oilers face the Wings Friday night in Detroit. (QMI Agency file photo)
DETROIT — It's an arena Jeff Petry is familiar with, but one he's never looked so forward to playing in.
Petry, an Ann Arbor, Mich., native will be in the Edmonton Oilers lineup as they take on the Detroit Red Wings Friday at the Joe Louis Arena.
The rookie defenceman was recalled from the Oilers AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City on Thursday.
"It's a great time to get called up and getting a chance to play in front of the hometown crowd," Petry said. "I played here with Michigan State and for Little Caesars (minor hockey) but it's special playing here for the first time at this level."
Petry, 23, grew up idolizing the Red Wings and their all-world defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom. His father Dan was a former Major League pitcher with the Detroit Tigers.
The Oilers selected Petry in the second round –- 45th overall -– of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
He started the season with the Oklahoma City Barons but was called up after Christmas and played in 21 games before getting sent back down to the AHL.
During his first stint with the Oilers, he collected a goal and a pair of assists.
"I felt really good when I first came up," Petry said. "After the all-star break, however, I felt like I was having trouble controlling the puck. It was good to go down and get my confidence up, hopefully I can play as well as I was before."
In 41 games with the Barons this year, Petry scored seven goals and added 17 assists.
"I just had to regain the aspect of controlling the puck and having it feel comfortable on my stick again," Petry said. "Coming back up, I just want to be able to make plays and be a hard guy to play against."