Predators-Red Wings Preview

Mired in an odd losing streak, the Detroit Red Wings return to
Joe Louis Arena to face an opponent they have dominated recently in
their building.

Having dropped six in a row – the last five of which went beyond
regulation – the Red Wings take on the Nashville Predators on
Tuesday night.

Detroit fell for the third straight time in a shootout – and
second time in as many nights – Saturday, 5-4 to the New York
Islanders. The Wings, 0-4 in tiebreakers this season and 1-7 after
regulation, had tied the game with 42.5 seconds remaining on Pavel
Datsyuk’s goal.

”If we hadn’t gone through the last five, six games, this point
would be pretty good,” forward Henrik Zetterberg said. ”Right now
it’s tough. We can’t find a way to win a game. I think we battled
hard.

” … Overall, I think it’s a good point, but we were right
there to get two points.”

Detroit (9-5-7) was outshot 15-4 in the third period and 6-1 in
overtime.

“We will get better,” coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s pretty
obvious we’ve got to win in regulation because the shootout is
killing us.

”It’s like anything in life, it gets in your head a little bit.
To me we’ve got to be hard-headed and mentally tough. The standings
could be a lot different for us if we won all these games,
especially these shootouts.”

The Wings have only gone past regulation once in the past 16
meetings with Nashville, and they’ve won three in a row and seven
of the past 11 matchups. Detroit has outscored the Predators 12-2
during the win streak and has taken four of the past five meetings
at Joe Louis Arena.

Datsyuk, who scored twice Saturday to give him 11 goals on the
season, has four goals and 10 assists with a plus-11 rating in his
past eight games against Nashville.

Jimmy Howard was in goal for the three consecutive victories
over the Predators, posting shutouts in the first two. He’s likely
to be back in net for this game after getting a day off in favor of
Jonas Gustavsson on Saturday.

Nashville (9-9-2) broke a four-game losing streak in stunning
fashion Saturday, routing Chicago 7-2. Rookie Marek Mazanec made 39
saves for his first NHL victory, while seven Nashville players
scored a goal and 12 recorded at least a point.

Even with the offensive outburst, the Predators’ 46 goals are
easily the fewest in the Western Conference.

”It’s awesome,” Mazanec said. ”I am really happy. We played a
really good game.”

The 22-year-old Mazanec seems likely to be in net again Tuesday
with No. 1 goalie Pekka Rinne out indefinitely due to a hip
infection.

David Legwand had a pair of assists against the Blackhawks to
push his team-leading point total to 17. Legwand, though, hasn’t
scored in his last six games and has been held without a point in
his past four matchups with Detroit.