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58-16-8
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Predators
49-25-8

33 SOG
30 SOG
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Red Wings-Predators Preview

Tuesday, 04.18.2006 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Red Wings-Predators Preview
Detroit Red Wings vs. Nashville Predators

GAME: Detroit Red Wings (58-15-8) at Nashville Predators (48-25-8).

TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EDT.

Before heading into the playoffs with the NHL's best record, the Detroit Red Wings look to match a season-high nine-game winning streak when they visit the playoff-bound Nashville Predators in the teams' season finale.

Detroit rallied with three goals in the last 6:59 of the third period to defeat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Monday and win its eighth consecutive game.

With 124 points and only able to claim two more, the Red Wings will finish with the fifth-most points in NHL history because they're three behind the 1975-76 Montreal Canadiens for fourth-best all-time.

"Among the top five teams all time, that's special," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

This also will be the second-highest point total in team history behind the 1995-96 Red Wings, who had 131 for second-most in league history but lost in the Western Conference finals to the Colorado Avalanche.

This Detroit team will open the playoffs against the eighth-place Edmonton Oilers.

The Red Wings again will play without leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk, who has missed five straight games with an injured thigh. Steve Yzerman (lower body injury) and Mathieu Schneider (groin injury) also are expected to sit out Tuesday, but both are expected to return for the playoffs along with Datsyuk.

The Predators are completing the best regular season in franchise history and have qualified for the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The current five-game winning streak helped them secure the fourth seed in the West and home-ice advantage in the first round against the San Jose Sharks.

Nashville is outscoring its opponents 16-4 during its win streak.

Goaltender Chris Mason has been a major part of the Predators' late-season run, winning all five games with a 0.79 goals-against average and two shutouts.

Mason became the ninth netminder to score a goal in an NHL regular season game when he was credited with one after the Phoenix Coyotes' Geoff Sanderson shot the puck into his own net on a delayed penalty of a 5-1 Nashville win on Saturday.

"It was a cheesy goal. Someone else should have received it. I don't even like counting one like that as a goal," said Mason, who also made 23 saves. "I'd much rather shoot one and saucer it down and in. Maybe when I retire I can tell people that's how it happened."

Mason has become the Predators' starting goalie due to a blood condition to All-Star Tomas Vokoun, who will be sidelined for the playoffs.

STANDINGS: Red Wings - 124 points, 1st place, Central Division. Predators - 104 points, 2nd place, 20 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Brendan Shanahan, 40 goals; Nicklas Lidstrom, 64 assists; Datsyuk, 87 points; Chris Chelios, 108 PIM. Predators - Steve Sullivan and Mike Sillinger, 31 goals; Paul Kariya, 53 assists and 81 points; Brendan Witt, 209 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Red Wings - Power play: 22.0 percent (100 for 454), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.7 percent (389 for 454), 3rd. Predators - Power play: 18.2 percent (92 for 505), 11th. Penalty killing: 84.8 percent (446 for 526), 4th.

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Manny Legace (36-8-3, 7 SO, 2.19 GAA); Chris Osgood (20-5-5, 2, 2.65). Predators - Mason (11-5-1, 2, 2.52); Pekka Rinne (1-1-0, 0, 3.81).

SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 4-1-2.

LAST MEETING: March 30; Red Wings, 4-2. At Nashville, Tenn., Shanahan and Jason Williams scored third-period goals to break the tie and Legace made 32 saves.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 31-6-3 on the road; Predators - 31-8-1 at home.

2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 18 '06DET 3 at NSH 6D. Legwand
Mar 30 '06DET 4 at NSH 2B. Shanahan
Mar 21 '06NSH 3 at DET 2 - SOM. Erat
Feb 09 '06DET 3 at NSH 2M. Schneider
Feb 08 '06NSH 0 at DET 6N. Lidstrom
Jan 24 '06NSH 2 at DET 1 - OTP. Kariya
Jan 23 '06NSH 3 at DET 2S. Hartnell
Jan 06 '06DET 3 at NSH 1J. Williams
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%

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