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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, March 18th (All times eastern)

Detroit Red Wings (42-18-10-2) at Phoenix Coyotes (20-31-16-6), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings continue their quest for the Presidents' Trophy this evening when they visit the lowly Phoenix Coyotes at Glendale Arena.

The Red Wings lead the Western Conference with 96 points and are one ahead of Tampa Bay for the best record in the NHL this season.

Detroit was handed a 4-1 setback by the Calgary Flames at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday night. Miikka Kiprusoff made 25 saves to lead Calgary.

Kirk Maltby tallied the only goal for Detroit, which saw its eight-game unbeaten streak stopped (7-1-1). Manny Legace, who is battling fellow goaltender Curtis Joseph to be the top netminder for the Red Wings, allowed four goals on just 18 shots in the setback.

Meanwhile, Detroit defenseman Derian Hatcher suffered an injury to his left shoulder early in the third period when he collided with Calgary's Chris Simon. He underwent an MRI exam on Wednesday and could be ready for Saturday's game in Los Angeles.

The Red Wings, who are 14-12-6-2 as the visitor this season, open a five-game road trip tonight.

Phoenix continued its freefall Tuesday, as it dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at Glendale Arena.

Shane Doan and Daymond Langkow posted goals for the Coyotes, who suffered their fifth straight loss and are winless in their last 13 (0-8-2-3). The club has also failed to pick up a victory under interim head coach Rick Bowness (0-7-1-3).

Brent Johnson stopped 25 shots. Johnson is 4-6-2 between the pipes this season. The Coyotes acquired Johnson for Mike Sillinger before the trade deadline.

Phoenix's 13-game winless streak is the third longest in franchise history. When the team was in Winnipeg, it went 19 games without a win in 1994-95, and went winless in 30 consecutive contests during the 1980-81 season.

The Coyotes will begin a two-game road trip in Chicago on Sunday night.

Detroit is 3-1-1 in its last five meetings against the Coyotes and has just two setbacks in its previous 16 matchups against Phoenix (9-2-5). The Red Wings are also 5-1-2 in their last eight trips to the Valley of the Sun.

03/18 10:38:02 ET

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