The Nashville Predators' recent slide has them on the verge of falling short of their first division title.
The Predators will look to avoid a season-high fourth straight loss Thursday when they host the St. Louis Blues.
Nashville (49-23-8) held the top spot in the Central Division and the Western Conference last week, but with two games remaining, trails Detroit by four points.
The Predators can still claim the division crown if they win both games and the Red Wings lose their final two contests against Chicago. Nashville would own the tiebreaker over Detroit based on overall wins and could still possibly earn the top seed in the conference.
The Predators, who are fourth in the conference and in position to have home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, close out the regular season at Colorado on Saturday.
Nashville blew a 2-1 third-period lead in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks on Tuesday, falling to 3-5-2 in its last 10 games.
"We're not going to point any fingers ... We're going to fix what we can fix," coach Barry Trotz said. "We've squandered some points. We've got to get winning."
Kimmo Timonen had a goal for his 300th NHL point and Dan Hamhuis also scored Tuesday, but Nashville went 0-for-4 on the power-play, leaving it 0-for-7 with the man advantage in its last two games.
"We came out of the gate pretty slow," Timonen said of the Predators, who have scored five goals during the three-game skid. "That's the first thing that has to change. We have to come out hard and work. We haven't done that the last few games."
Paul Kariya snapped his four-game stretch without a point with two assists Tuesday, leaving him one assist shy of 500 for his career. Kariya, Nashville's leading scorer with 74 points, has three goals and five assists in seven games against St. Louis (34-33-13)this season.
Nashville has won six of seven contests against St. Louis this season, but suffered a 1-0 road loss to the Blues on Feb. 16 in the most recent meeting.
D.J. King scored his first goal in 25 NHL games and Doug Weight and Petr Cajanek each had a goal and an assist in St. Louis' 5-2 home win over Phoenix on Tuesday.
The Blues are 3-0-1 in their last four contests and haven't quit despite missing the playoffs for the second straight season.
"It's a good feeling in here," said Weight, who has a team-leading 59 points, including six in his last four games. "We have a lot of belief and confidence in our lineup and it's showing."
Lee Stempniak had his goal streak snapped at three games Tuesday, but added an assist for his fifth point in four games. The second-year right wing has three goals and two assists against the Predators this season.
|Apr 05 '07||STL 1 at NSH 4||D. Legwand|
|Feb 16 '07||NSH 0 at STL 1||B. Guerin|
|Jan 27 '07||NSH 6 at STL 3||M. Erat|
|Jan 06 '07||STL 2 at NSH 3||S. Sullivan|
|Dec 26 '06||STL 2 at NSH 3 - SO||A. Radulov|
|Dec 17 '06||NSH 2 at STL 1 - OT||K. Timonen|
|Dec 16 '06||STL 2 at NSH 3 - SO||P. Kariya|
|Nov 30 '06||NSH 5 at STL 4||A. Radulov|