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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 29th (All times eastern)

Nashville Predators (29-20-3) at Detroit Red Wings (25-19-9), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling teams will meet tonight in Motown, as the Nashville Predators aim to avoid a fifth straight loss in a clash at Joe Louis Arena against a Detroit Red Wings club that aims to avoid a season-high fourth setback in a row.

The Predators are on their longest losing streak since they dropped six straight from October 10-21 following a 2-0 start to the season. Their four- game skid includes losses in the first three contests of a four-game road trip that ends tonight. Nashville had won five in a row on the road before this trip.

Nashville hosted Columbus on Tuesday and dropped a 3-2 decision. Martin Erat had a goal and an assist, while Patric Hornqvist also lit the lamp for the Predators. Pekka Rinne allowed three goals on 17 shots.

"I thought both teams played a real solid game," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought they played well, we played well. They capitalized on one turnover in the second and it's a 1-0 game. When it's 1-0, the two goal lead is really big and they scored and they scored again on the next shift. To me if we kept it at two, we had a chance. We still had a chance at the end."

Nashville is currently seventh in the Western Conference with 61 points, two more than Detroit. The Red Wings are ninth in the standings and on their fifth three-game slide of the season.

Detroit is just 1-3-3 over its last seven games and is coming off Wednesday's 5-2 loss at Minnesota. Pavel Datsyuk scored a pair of first-period goals, but Chris Osgood allowed five tallies on 25 shots in the loss.

"I thought we were set up there to get ourselves going early," said Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. "We were down a goal, but it seemed we were right there. It's disappointing to be right in the game again but end up on the wrong end."

Detroit will also look to snap a three-game skid at home tonight.

These two Central Division rivals have split a pair of meetings this year in Nashville, but the Red Wings' 3-2 overtime victory in the last meeting on December 12 ended a four-game series losing streak. Todd Bertuzzi had the game-winner in overtime off an assist from Datsyuk 24 seconds in.

Though the Predators have won two straight at Joe Louis Arena, they have still dropped eight of their last 11 trips there.

01/29 10:49:52 ET


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