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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 12th (All times eastern)

Detroit Red Wings (33-8-4) at Ottawa Senators (28-10-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A possible preview of the Stanley Cup finals is on tap this evening, as the Detroit Red Wings visit the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place for a battle between the top two teams in the NHL this season.

The Red Wings lead the NHL with a whopping 70 points and Ottawa is second in the league and first in the Eastern Conference with 60 points. The Senators made it to the Stanley Cup finals last year before losing to Anaheim, while Detroit was ousted by the Ducks in the Western Conference finals.

Detroit was handed a rare loss Thursday night in a crazy game against visiting Minnesota. Eric Belanger's goal with 49 seconds remaining in regulation tied the contest and Marian Gaborik was credited with the game-winner in the shootout, as the Wild outlasted the Red Wings, 6-5, at Joe Louis Arena.

Dan Cleary gave the Red Wings the lead with just over a minute to play in the third period, but Detroit failed to hold on for the win. Still, the Red Wings earned at least a point for the 21st time in their last 23 games overall (18-2-3).

Chris Osgood, who inked a three-year contract extension on Wednesday, finished with 23 saves. Henrik Zetterberg, Valtteri Filppula, Dallas Drake and Niklas Kronvall also scored for Detroit, which had won four straight games prior to the loss.

Dominik Hasek is expected to be in goal for the Red Wings tonight and has stellar career numbers against the Senators, who employed Hasek during the 2005-06 season. Hasek is 24-8-5 with a 1.45 goals against average and .951 save percentage in 38 career games against Ottawa.

The Senators, meanwhile, posted a shootout win their last time out, as they defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, behind Dean McAmmond's tally in the sixth round of the deciding segment at Scotiabank Place.

In the final round, McAmmond fired a snap shot over Jocelyn Thibault's left shoulder. Martin Gerber then stopped Jochen Hecht to preserve the win for the Senators.

Shean Donovan and Daniel Alfredsson scored in regulation for Ottawa, which has won three in a row overall. Gerber made 22 saves in the win, the Senators' ninth out of the last 12 over the Sabres.

Tonight marks the third portion of a four-game homestand for the Senators, who are 14-6-2 as the host club this season. They will wrap up the residency Sunday against the New York Islanders.

The Red Wings are 15-5-2 as the visiting team this season.

Tonight marks the only regular-season meeting between the Red Wings and Senators this year. Detroit has taken six of the last eight matchups and has won three of four in Ottawa.

01/12 10:40:39 ET

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