The Red Wings will try to avoid a season-high fourth straight loss, while looking to hand the Predators a fifth straight defeat when the Central Division rivals meet Friday night.
Nashville (29-20-3) leads Detroit (25-19-9) by two points heading into the teams’ first meeting at Joe Louis Arena this season. They have split two meetings in Nashville, with the Red Wings winning 3-2 in overtime Dec. 11 to snap a four-game skid in the series.
The Predators are on their longest slide since a six-game losing streak Oct. 10-21 in which they scored a total of six goals. Three losses in this skid have been by one goal heading into the finale of a four-game trip.
“Something has to be done - four in a row,” forward Steve Sullivan(notes) said. “We are starting to feel the heat now from behind us in the standings. We are not as comfortable now as we were a week a go. We have to find a way to get some wins.”
The Red Wings were also feeling better about themselves before this 1-3-3 stretch. Detroit blew third-period leads in consecutive losses before a 5-2 defeat at Minnesota on Wednesday.
Chris Osgood(notes) got the start one night after Jimmy Howard(notes) yielded two goals in the final 90 seconds of regulation in a 5-4 overtime loss to Phoenix on Tuesday. Osgood is 1-6 in seven starts since Nov. 7, losing three straight while giving up 11 goals after a 20-save effort Wednesday.
“Yeah, we didn’t play great, but if I can get in there and steal a game, maybe that could start something,” Osgood said. “It didn’t happen, so I’ve got to put my head to the grindstone and keep working hard.”
Detroit is 0-1-2 in its last three games at home, where it has never lost three straight to Nashville. The Predators won their final two visits last season to notch consecutive wins at Joe Louis for the second time in franchise history.
This has been a frustrating losing streak for Nashville, which has outshot its opponent in every contest. The Predators have enjoyed an average shot advantage of 13.7 on this road trip.
“We’ve got to get production from our top guys,” coach Barry Trotz said. “If you’re a scorer you’ve got to score. You’ve just got to execute because right now we’re playing well but not well enough to win.”
The Predators fell 3-2 at Columbus on Tuesday despite a 31-17 edge in shots. They went 0 for 4 on the power play, falling to 1 for 17 in the last six games.