Although Chris Osgood wasn't able to keep the Detroit Red Wings from matching their longest losing streak of the season over the weekend, the Red Wings hope he can stop it from being extended Tuesday when they visit the Nashville Predators.
|Chris Osgood may have a three-game losing streak to contend with, but he has won his last five starts against the Predators. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
The Western Conference-leading Red Wings (41-12-5) are 0-2-1 in their last three games and coming off a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, which followed a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Toronto Maple Leafs the previous afternoon.
Sunday's loss marked just the third three-game losing streak of the season for Detroit, which was left frustrated by officiating. Johan Franzen pulled the Red Wings within 3-2 with 13:54 left, and Nicklas Lidstrom then appeared to score the game-tying goal with 40 seconds remaining, but it was waved off by referee Dan O'Halloran because of incidental content between Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom and Anaheim goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
"My thought is there's no sense discussing it," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock.
Osgood made 16 saves in Sunday's loss and is expected to start again on Tuesday. According to the Red Wings official Web site, Dominik Hasek is being bothered by minor inflammation of his hip flexor, and the team is hoping to rest him a few more days.
Osgood has not lost three consecutive starts since going six games without a win from Feb. 22-March 4, 2004. He was 0-4-0 with two ties during that stretch.
But Osgood has won his last five starts against the Predators - including two this season and three straight overall in Nashville - and is 17-5-1 with two ties and a 2.17 goals-against average lifetime against them.
|Dan Ellis and company are 7-2-2 in their last 11 games. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
Hasek isn't the only player not expected to play Tuesday. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall was placed on injured reserve Monday with a strained shoulder and Dan Cleary is day-to-day after breaking his jaw on Saturday.
The Red Wings have not lost four straight games since March 17-24. After going 0-2-1 in early January, Detroit reeled off eight straight wins before its current losing streak.
Nashville (29-22-6), meanwhile, avoided a three-game losing streak Sunday with a 6-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, improving to 7-2-2 in their last 11 games. The Predators squandered a three-goal lead but scored three unanswered goals in the third period.
"We were able to respond in the third period and come up with a big win," goalie Dan Ellis said. "Did I get rattled? No, I mean their goals were kind of hitting bodies and it's just unfortunate. You're going to get those goals during the course of the season."
J.P. Dumont had one goal and two assists in the game, giving him 20 goals, second to Alexander Radulov's 21. It was just Dumont's second goal in the last eight games.
Detroit is 6-1-0 in its last seven games against the Predators and 15-4-3 in the last 22.