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Wings, Preds each aiming for fourth straight win

by Brian Compton /
RED WINGS (19-9-1) at PREDATORS (15-11-4)

: FS-Detroit, FS-Tennessee

Last 10: Detroit 8-2-0; Nashville 5-5-0.

Season Series: This is the second of six meetings between the Central Division rivals. Detroit cruised to a 4-1 victory against the Predators on Nov. 26 at Joe Louis Arena. Valtteri Filppula had a pair of goals and an assist for the Red Wings.

Big Story: It appears as though the Predators are headed back in the right direction. After tallying only two wins in a nine-game stretch, Nashville enters Thursday's action with an opportunity to earn its fourth straight victory. Each of the Preds' three consecutive wins have been decided by one goal.

Team Scope:

Red Wings: Just like their opponent Thursday night, the Wings will be searching for their fourth straight victory. Detroit made it three in a row Tuesday, when it marched into the Consol Energy Center and earned a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist in the victory.

"Tonight was a good one for our team," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the win. "I thought he (Datsyuk) was dominant down the stretch, and that's what he tends to do in the bigger moments."

Predators: Nashville also made it three straight Tuesday, when they peppered Miikka Kiprusoff with 45 shots in a 2-1 victory against the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone Arena. Pekka Rinne made 35 saves for the Preds, who ended a stretch of six straight home losses to Calgary. Prior to Tuesday, Nashville's previous home win over the Flames was Jan. 15, 2008.

The Predators have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their past six games. Thirteen of their last 29 goals have come via the man advantage
"You want your power play to score goals and timely goals," coach Barry Trotz said. "We adjusted between periods. They had an all-out press against our power play in the second, so we made a slight adjustment and were able to execute it."

Who's Hot: Wings center Pavel Datsyuk has 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) in his last 12 games. He's had 8 multi-point performances during the stretch. … Preds forward Colin Wilson has 2 game-winning goals in his last three games.

Injury Report: Detroit will be without Patrick Eaves (jaw) and Jan Mursak (ankle).

Stat Pack: Entering Thursday's action, Nashville's power-play percentage sits at 20.8. The Preds haven't finished above 20 percent since the League returned from a work stoppage in 2005.

Puck Drop: "Good players find a way to get going. Their pride is on the line, they're competitive. Pav is a workaholic. I'm not too concerned about him." -- Wings coach Mike Babcock on Pavel Datsyuk
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