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Wings - Blues Preview

Tuesday, 12.25.2007 / 9:45 PM / Preview
Associated Press
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Wings - Blues Preview

St. Louis - The Wings were missing two-thirds of their top line due to injuries the last time they played, but continued to show why they're the NHL's best team.

The Red Wings may again be without Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom as they meet the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.

Zetterberg (back) and Holmstrom (knee) were barely missed in Saturday's 4-1 win over Minnesota. Zetterberg is tied with Washington's Alexander Ovechkin for second in the league with 25 goals and leads the Red Wings with 50 points.

Holmstrom's injury happened after a collision with the Blues' Jay McKee in a 3-2 loss on Thursday in St. Louis. Holmstrom traveled with the team to Minnesota, but returned to Detroit for an MRI after the knee showed swelling. He's second on the team with 17 goals, including a team-high four game-winners, and fourth with 31 points.

Despite both stars sitting out, the Red Wings (26-7-3) won for the 11th time in 13 games. They lead the league with 55 points and 128 goals scored.

"They controlled the game really good," Zetterberg said after the Red Wings posted a season-high 51 shots. "It was an easy game to sit and watch."

Pavel Datsyuk, who centers the line with Zetterberg and Holmstrom, scored as did Johan Franzen, Daniel Cleary and Tomas Kopecky.

Dominik Hasek stopped 18 shots to notch his 373rd career victory, leaving him one shy of tying John Vanbiesbrouck for 11th on the all-time list. Since his last loss in regulation on Nov. 22 to Nashville, the 42-year-old Hasek is 6-0-1 with a 1.77 goals-against average and one shutout.

Hasek lost his only start of the season against St. Louis as he allowed four second-period goals in a 4-3 loss on Nov. 13. The six-time Vezina Trophy winner is 3-1-2 with a 2.58 GAA in six starts versus the Blues since the end of the NHL lockout.

St. Louis (18-12-3) has won four straight on home ice from Detroit and will look to bounce back from a tough loss. Manny Legace allowed Marian Hossa's goal 19 seconds into overtime of a 3-2 loss to Atlanta on Sunday.

"I'm not making excuses. I just didn't think we had energy," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "But I knew this one would be tough."

Legace made 34 saves in Thursday's win over Detroit. He's given up only six goals while winning his last four starts against the Red Wings, for whom he played from 1999-2006.

Keith Tkachuk had a goal and an assist in the loss to Atlanta, giving him three goals and three assists in a three-game point streak. This season, Tkachuk has two goals and an assist versus the Red Wings, all at home.

Brad Boyes is the only Blues player to reach double digits in goals with 21, including one in last week's win over the Red Wings.

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