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21-46-15

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Red Wings-Blues Preview

Monday, 03.27.2006 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Red Wings-Blues Preview
Detroit Red Wings vs. St. Louis Blues

GAME: Detroit Red Wings (48-15-7) at St. Louis Blues (20-37-12).

TIME: Monday, 8 p.m. EST.

One more point will assure the Detroit Red Wings their NHL-leading 15th straight playoff berth.

The St. Louis Blues, who were the active leaders with 25 before suffering elimination last week, aim to prevent the Red Wings from celebrating at the Savvis Center.

The Red Wings also seek to increase their one-point lead over the Ottawa Senators for their second straight Presidents' Trophy. Detroit has finished with the league's best record four times since 1995.

Detroit went 1-2 on a three-game homestand after losing 5-4 in a shootout Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Red Wings led 3-0 entering the third period, but lost when leading after two periods for just the second time this season.

"We stopped playing and doing the things you need to do to win," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock.

Detroit needed Pavel Datsyuk's goal to tie the score with 1:50 left in regulation and force overtime. Datsyuk, Jason Williams and Henrik Zetterberg each missed on Detroit's shootout chances.

"Shocked and definitely disappointed," Red Wings forward Mark Mowers said.

The Blues also blew a lead on Saturday, letting a 2-0 advantage slip away and losing to Colorado 3-2 in overtime. The defeat was the sixth in a row for St. Louis.

This is only the third-longest losing streak of the season for the Blues. They lost 11 in a row from Oct. 20-Nov. 12 and nine straight from Jan. 4-20.

Goaltender Patrick Lalime made 28 saves, but suffered his fifth straight loss. Lalime's last win came on March 13 against Columbus.

The Blues have lost five of six meetings with Detroit this season, including both games at the Savvis Center. The Red Wings have outscored the Blues 21-10 in the season series.

After facing Detroit, St. Louis travels to Chicago to face the Blackhawks Wednesday in a meeting of the Western Conference's worst two teams.

"We know we're out of the playoffs," St. Louis right wing Scott Young said, "but we have to show up every night."

STANDINGS: Red Wings - 103 points, 1st place, Central Division. Blues - 52 points, 5th place, 51 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Zetterberg, 35 goals; Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom, 57 assists; Datsyuk, 84 points; Chris Chelios, 102 PIM. Blues - Young, 17 goals and 46 points; Young and Petr Cajanek, 29 assists; Barret Jackman, 156 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Red Wings - Power play: 23.5 percent (93 for 396), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (338 for 397), 4th. Blues - Power play: 15.5 percent (69 for 444), 24th. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (330 for 404), 18th.

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Manny Legace (30-8-3, 6 SO, 2.20 GAA); Chris Osgood (17-5-4, 2, 2.76). Blues - Lalime (4-15-7, 0, 3.68); Reinhard Divis (0-4-0, 0, 5.26).

SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 5-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 1; Red Wings, 3-2. At Detroit, Zetterberg's goal with 3:55 left capped Detroit's comeback from a 2-0 deficit.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 24-6-3 on the road; Blues - 11-17-6 at home.

2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 15 '06DET 3 at STL 2H. Zetterberg
Mar 27 '06DET 4 at STL 1S. Yzerman
Feb 01 '06STL 2 at DET 3H. Zetterberg
Jan 05 '06STL 0 at DET 3P. Datsyuk
Nov 19 '05STL 3 at DET 2D. Weight
Nov 06 '05DET 4 at STL 1T. Holmstrom
Oct 06 '05DET 4 at STL 3B. Shanahan
Oct 05 '05STL 1 at DET 5M. Schneider
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