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Sharks-Red Wings Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: San Jose Sharks (34-23-10) at Detroit Red Wings (47-15-6).

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

The Detroit Red Wings look to begin a new winning streak as they host the San Jose Sharks, a team that has struggled mightily at Joe Louis Arena.

The Sharks have only two wins in 26 regular-season trips to Detroit in their franchise history, with the last victory coming on Dec. 20, 2000.

The Red Wings had their six-game winning streak snapped in a 3-2, six-round shootout loss Tuesday to Nashville. Still, Detroit earned a point for the seventh straight game and reached 100 points for the sixth straight season. The Red Wings have won 14 of their past 17 games and lead the Dallas Stars by five points atop the Western Conference.

"I don't think 100 points is that special," Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg said. "We're going for first place overall and you have to go above 100 points to do that."

Manny Legace made 35 saves for the Red Wings, including a penalty shot late in the third period. He had allowed 15 goals in his last four games.

"I didn't think we were mentally sharp in the third period," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "So it was good to see Manny back on his game."

Detroit, which has the NHL's best power play at 23.6 percent, had two power-play goals against Nashville and has a power-play goal in its last 10 games.

The Sharks routed St. Louis 6-0 on Tuesday as they opened up a five-game road trip that may determine their postseason fate.

San Jose has 15 games remaining and currently sits in 10th place in the Western Conference, just one point behind Los Angeles and Edmonton, which are tied for eighth.

"We're very aware, we've got a chart up," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "I try to make everyone on the team aware of where we stand and what we have to do to make the playoffs."

San Jose has won six of its last seven games and got a shutout from backup goalie Vesa Toskala, his first of the season.

"It's nice, but these are the kind of must-wins for us if we want to make it to the playoffs," said Toskala, who made 33 saves. "Those two points are more important than my shutout."

Jonathan Cheechoo scored his team-leading 43rd goal, and his next one will tie Owen Nolan's single-season franchise record of 44 set in the 1999-2000 season.

STANDINGS: Sharks - 78 points, 4th place, 17 PB, Pacific Division. Red Wings - 100 points, 1st place, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sharks - Cheechoo, 43 goals; Joe Thornton, 75 assists and 100 points; Mark Smith, 89 PIM. Red Wings - Zetterberg, 35 goals; Pavel Datsyuk, 56 assists and 82 points; Chris Chelios, 102 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Sharks - Power play: 17.7 percent (71 for 402), 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.6 percent (270 for 331), 21st. Red Wings - Power play: 23.6 percent (92 for 390), 1st. Penalty killing: 84.9 percent (331 for 390), 4th.

GOALTENDERS: Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov (15-16-7, 1 SO, 3.03 GAA); Toskala (14-6-3, 1, 2.72). Red Wings - Legace (29-8-3, 5, 2.26); Chris Osgood (17-5-3, 2, 2.72).

SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 28; Sharks, 5-1. At San Jose, Calif., Thornton had a goal and three assists, and the Sharks scored a franchise-record five power-play goals to beat short-handed Detroit, which was missing four key players that were part of the gold medal-winning Swedish squad at the Olympics.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sharks - 12-16-4 on the road; Red Wings - 23-9-3 at home.

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