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Red Wings-Wild Preview @NHLdotcom
Red Wings-Wild Preview

GAME: Detroit Red Wings (33-13-5) at Minnesota Wild (25-22-4).

TIME: Monday, 8 p.m. EST.

The Minnesota Wild remain in the Northwest Division cellar - but the longest winning streak in franchise history helped them move back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

Minnesota seeks its fifth straight home victory when it takes on the Detroit Red Wings.

Although they're last in the division, the Wild are within striking distance of the final West playoff spot thanks to a team-record five-game winning streak. That run ended in a 4-3 loss to Columbus on Friday.

The Wild had a two-goal lead in the third period, but allowed the final three goals in a span of just over 11 minutes.

The game-winner, awarded to Sergei Fedorov, deflected off defenseman Nick Schultz's skate and past Wild goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who lost his third straight decision and fell to 5-15-1 on the season.

"We have to wake up tomorrow and start over again," coach Jacques Lemaire said of the heartbreaking loss.

Todd White had two goals and added an assist for Minnesota, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard had a goal and an assist, but the Wild's usually stingy defense collapsed late.

Minnesota will look to get back to its tough defensive ways against a Red Wings club that has struggled offensively in its last four games. The Red Wings are 1-2-1 over that span and have scored two goals or less in every contest. Each of the four games was decided by one goal.

Detroit has scored a power-play goal in 14 straight games and leads the league in power-play efficiency at 24.7 percent. The Red Wings will test their red-hot power play against Minnesota's top-ranked penalty killing unit, which has killed off 89.2 percent of short-handed situations.

In Saturday's 2-1 shootout loss to Dallas, Tomas Holmstrom scored with the man advantage at 2:53 of the third period to give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead, but Jere Lehtinen beat Manny Legace for the equalizer with just over five minutes left in regulation.

Jason Williams and Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit in the shootout, but Mike Modano got the winner for the Stars in the eighth round.

"It comes down to a skills competition and their skill is better than mine," said Legace, who finished with 19 saves in his first shootout defeat of the season.

Wings leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk was held without a point for the third straight game, the first time that has happened this season.

The Wild are 2-3-1 with two ties at home and 5-9-1 with three ties overall in the series with the Red Wings. The teams split the first two meetings this season, both at Joe Louis Arena.

STANDINGS: Red Wings - 71 points, 1st place, Central Division. Wild - 54 points, 5th place, 11 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Brendan Shanahan, 23 goals; Datsyuk, 39 assists and 58 points; Chris Chelios, 82 PIM. Wild - Brian Rolston, 22 goals, 32 assists and 54 points; Derek Boogaard, 108 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Red Wings - Power play: 24.7 percent (74 for 300), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.6 percent (250 for 292), 2nd. Wild - Power play: 17.8 percent (51 for 287), 15th. Penalty killing: 89.2 percent (255 for 286), 1st.

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Legace (19-6-2, 3 SO, 2.08 GAA); Chris Osgood (13-5-3, 1, 2.86). Wild - Manny Fernandez (20-7-3, 1, 1.99); Roloson (5-15-1, 1, 3.04).


LAST MEETING: Jan. 3; Wild, 4-2. At Detroit, Rolston had a goal and an assist, and Roloson made 43 saves to snap the Red Wings' five-game winning streak.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 16-5-3 on the road; Wild - 16-10-1 at home.

Associated Press
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