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.