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The Detroit Red Wings will ultimately be judged on their performance in the playoffs. Still, they are on the verge of a very impressive regular-season accomplishment.
Detroit looks to take over the NHL's overall points lead Tuesday night when it visits the slumping Calgary Flames.
The Red Wings (45-18-9) are one point away from reaching 100 for the seventh straight season. That streak will be the second-longest in NHL history, trailing only Montreal's eight-season run from 1974-82.
A victory Tuesday would also move Detroit one point ahead of Nashville into first place in the Central Division and the top spot in the league standings. Nashville, Buffalo, and Anaheim -- all vying with the Red Wings for the Presidents' Trophy - are idle Tuesday.
Detroit, though, could only get one of its 33 shots past Roberto Luongo Saturday in a 4-1 loss at Vancouver.
The defeat was just the second in regulation in the last 14 games (9-2-3) for the Red Wings, who also had points in their previous five (4-0-1) road games.
Dominik Hasek made a season-high 35 saves, but suffered his second loss in three starts.
"It was hard because they were like a beast around the net," Hasek said. "First two periods they came really hard, lots of shots. There were a few shots I didn't see and always somebody for the rebound."
Pavel Datsyuk scored on the power play for the Red Wings to extend his point streak to 10 games, matching a career high. Datsyuk has three goals and 13 assists during the run.
Defenseman Danny Markov returned to the lineup Saturday after missing four games with an upper- body injury. Center Johan Franzen missed his fourth consecutive game with a similar injury but could play Tuesday.
Forwards Dan Cleary, Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi remain sidelined for Detroit. Bertuzzi hopes to make his Red Wings debut during the team's upcoming three-game homestand, which starts Thursday against Columbus.
Calgary (37-25-10) was challenging for the Northwest Division title just two weeks ago, but three straight losses and a 1-4-1 skid have put its postseason hopes in jeopardy.
The Flames have seen their lead on surging Colorado cut to four points in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"We're in a three-game rut right now," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said on the team's official Web site. "We are going to stay positive and concentrate on the next game."
Calgary suffered a rare home loss Saturday, allowing two third-period goals in a 4-2 defeat to Minnesota to fall to 28-7-2 at Pengrowth Saddledome.
"We're very confident in our group," left wing Alex Tanguay said. "There's no reason to start doubting ourselves or pushing the panic button, but we certainly have to start finding ways to win hockey games, as opposed to finding ways to lose them."
Iginla - the team leader with 34 goals and 82 points - has been held without a goal in eight straight games against Detroit.
The Red Wings have won two of three meetings with the Flames this season, but lost the lone matchup at Calgary, 4-1 on Nov. 17.