Nashville (18-14-2) at Detroit (25-12-1)

Light Rain with Thunder Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Mon Jan 5, 2004
  • TV: FSN, FSD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Detroit Red Wings own the league’s best record. It would be even better if it weren’t for the Nashville Predators.

The Red Wings try to avoid losing to the Predators for the fourth time in as many meetings this season as the Central Division foes meet at Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit, the NHL leader with 55 points, had lost just twice in the previous 13 meetings with Nashville (7-2-4) before dropping all three matchups this season.

“They always play us tough. They play it simple,” Detroit defenseman Jason Woolley said after his team’s 1-0 loss at Nashville on Dec. 20.

This is the fourth of six games this season between the teams, separated by 13 points in the Central.

The Predators are looking to beat the last two Stanley Cup winners in back-to-back games. They defeated the reigning champion New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Saturday behind two goals from David Legwand.

“Any time you beat a team like New Jersey, it’s a big game,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “The guys are digging in and all of the credit goes to them.”

It was the first two-goal game of the season for Legwand, who had only one goal and two assists in his last 12 games.

“I know I need to pick up my game and that was a start tonight,” Legwand said. “I think we’ve got huge hockey games coming up in the next six days and that’s going to be big for the organization. If we come out 3-1 or 4-0, we’ll come out right at the top of the Western Conference.”

Nashville, which has earned at least one point in nine of 11 games (4-2-3-2), also faces Toronto, Colorado and St. Louis this week.

The Red Wings are 8-2-1 in their last 11, including three straight wins. Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Anaheim ran Detroit’s home unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1), dating to a Nov. 24 loss to Washington.

Brendan Shanahan scored his 550th NHL goal Saturday and Manny Legace made 31 saves for his first win since Dec. 19.

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