Predators-Red Wings Preview
By ALAN FERGUSON
(AP) -- The Detroit Red Wings managed to slow down the hottest team in the NHL in their most recent game. They'll try to keep rolling against a club that's been decidedly colder of late.
The Red Wings seek a season high-tying fifth straight win Saturday night when they return home to face a Nashville Predators team that has lost three in a row.
Detroit (13-7-1) couldn't hold on to a pair of one-goal leads in regulation when it visited red-hot Boston in the NHL's inaugural Thanksgiving Showdown on Friday. The Red Wings, though, went on to snap the Bruins' 10-game win streak with a 3-2 victory in their first shootout this season.
"It's a game you get up for, especially when you're playing the defending Stanley Cup champs," captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "It's kind of a measuring stick for our club. I thought our team responded real well. It was a fun game to play in, two very even teams as well, so we're very happy with a win today."
Jimmy Howard made a season-high 41 saves and Pavel Datsyuk extended his point streak to five games with a second-period goal. Valtteri Filppula scored for the second time in as many contests.
Those performances have given Detroit a chance to match its five-game season-opening win streak as it faces one of its Central Division rivals for the first time. The Red Wings dropped six in a row after that run but have rebounded to win eight times in their last 10 games.
Having won five straight at home, Detroit also has a chance at its longest streak there since a seven-game run March 11-April 1, 2010.
Nashville, meanwhile, is 0-2-1 since a 7-1-2 stretch and gave up three goals during the third period of a 3-2 defeat to Minnesota in the opener of a five-game trip Wednesday. Despite the loss, coach Barry Trotz was pleased to see an improved performance from a 6-2 loss to Edmonton the previous night.
"It was a much better effort. We had better focus, we stayed with the game plan longer and I wish we would have gotten a point or two out of it," said Trotz, whose team is one loss shy of matching its season-high skid from Oct. 13-20.
Nashville (10-7-4) got more points last season against the Red Wings than in any of its previous campaigns, going 4-1-1. The Predators won in their final two games at Joe Louis Arena after losing 11 times in their previous 15 visits.
Sergei Kostitsyn had a team-best seven points (four goals, three assists) against Detroit last season, and Ryan Suter contributed a goal and five assists. Suter enters with two goals and four assists in his last four contests.
Datsyuk has four goals and five assists in his last five games after a slow start. The left wing has a good chance to continue his point streak as he has five goals and eight assists in his last eight matchups with Nashville.
He's also registered five goals and 10 assists in his last nine home games against the Predators.
Updated November 25, 2011