(Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)
For Nashville's entire history, one of its biggest rivals in the League was Detroit; but now that the Red Wings play in the Eastern Conference, those meetings will only come twice a year. The one-time rivals will meet Tuesday as Detroit tries to make a move in the Atlantic Division against a Predators team that is struggling to keep pace in the competitive Central.
Few venues in the NHL carry the gravitas and atmosphere one can find in Joe Louis Arena, but lately home hasn't been so sweet for the Red Wings. Detroit has lost its past seven games at The Joe, a remarkable total considering the Wings lost a grand total of 10 games there in their last full 82-game season.
"It's been tough here for us but it's not like something's miraculously going to happen for us to get out of this," Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said. "It's going to take hard work and the right attitude."
Despite those home struggles, Detroit hasn't fallen too far off the pace in the log-jammed Atlantic. All of those extra points in overtime and shootout losses have kept the Red Wings within three points of the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning, meaning a run at not only a playoff spot, but the division title is far from a longshot with three quarters of the season still to play.
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You can watch tonight's 7:30 PM matchup on Fox Sports Detroit-Plus, or listen in with Ken Kal and Paul Woods on AM1270.