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Predators-Red Wings Preview @NHLdotcom
Predators-Red Wings Preview

GAME: Nashville Predators (29-12-6) at Detroit Red Wings (32-12-3).

TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

Now that they have beaten their divisional rivals for the first time this season, the Nashville Predators will look to move back into first place in the Central at their expense.

Nashville, which is 5-0-3 in its last eight games overall, will again meet the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Scott Hartnell scored the game-winner midway through the second period in Nashville's 3-2 win Monday over Detroit for its first win in five tries over the Red Wings.

The game was a replay of a Nov. 21 matchup in which Detroit defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed on the bench with cardiac arrest. Monday's game started with the Predators leading 1-0 - the score at the time the game was suspended.

"It was the right decision to cancel our other game, especially being his friend from our national team," said Nashville's Tomas Vokoun of his fellow Czech Republic native. "You put life in front of everything because he was in immediate danger and he could've lost his life."

Vokoun made 39 saves Monday for his 24th win of the season, two behind league-leader Miikka Kirpusoff of the Calgary Flames. Vokoun also ended a personal four-game losing skid.

Vokoun is 6-11-3 with a 3.63 goals-against average and one shutout in 20 career games against the Wings.

The loss was Detroit's third in 18 games all-time against the Predators at home. The Wings are looking to avoid consecutive home losses for the second time in one season since Oct. 10-15 and Nov. 27-Dec. 6, 2000.

"If you play like that, you'll win 99 percent," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We had a lot of opportunities to score. They went on the road and found a way to get a win.

"We've won a lot of games that we shouldn't have won. This was one we probably should have won, but didn't."

Center Pavel Datsyuk scored his 20th goal to extend his point-scoring streak to eight games - two short of his career-high set from Oct. 21-Nov. 9, 2005.

He has tallied nine assists and 12 points during the current streak.

Datsyuk, who will represent Russia at next month's Turin's Olympics, has tallied four goals and eight points in 15 career games against the Preds, including two goals in the last three meetings.

STANDINGS: Predators - 66 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Central Division. Red Wings - 67 points, 1st place, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Predators - Steve Sullivan, 24 goals; Paul Kariya and Kimmo Timonen, 30 assists; Kariya, 46 points; Darcy Hordichuk, 107 PIM. Red Wings - Henrik Zetterberg and Brendan Shanahan, 22 goals; Datsyuk, 39 assists and 58 points; Chris Chelios, 74 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Predators - Power play: 19.4 percent (59 for 304), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84 percent (262 for 312), 11th. Red Wings - Power play: 25.1 percent (70 for 280), 1st. Penalty killing: 84.8 percent (235 for 277), 6th.

GOALTENDERS: Predators - Vokoun (24-9-5, 1 SO, 2.63 GAA); Chris Mason (5-2-1, 0, 2.95). Red Wings - Manny Legace (18-6-0, 3, 2.18); Chris Osgood (13-5-3, 1, 2.86).


LAST MEETING: Monday; Predators, 3-2. At Detroit, Hartnell scored the game-winner and Vokoun made 39 saves for Nashville. Nicklas Lidstrom has two assists for the Wings.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Predators - 11-7-5 on the road; Red Wings - 16-8-1 at home.

Associated Press
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