|DET||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|NSH||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||8|
NASHVILLE -- As the Red Wings make a push for the top seed in the Western Conference, the Nashville Predators are simply hoping to reach the postseason.
On Saturday night, the visiting Red Wings try for a third straight victory over the Predators, who look to match their longest winning streak of the season.
Behind a solid effort from goaltender Chris Osgood, Detroit (41-13-8) beat Los Angeles 2-1 at home on Friday. That followed a 4-1 win over West-leading San Jose on Wednesday.
The Red Wings - 9-2-1 since closing January with a season-high five straight losses - are second in the conference and three points behind the Sharks.
Nashville (30-28-4), meanwhile, is looking for its fourth straight victory, but is 11th in the crowded West playoff race.
"Hopefully, the right teams win and the right teams lose, and we'll get closer into that pack," said Nashville coach Barry Trotz, whose team will play the first of three remaining games against the Red Wings.
Evening the season series with Detroit would be a start for Nashville, which has lost two in a row versus the Red Wings after winning 3-2 at home on Dec. 26.
Detroit posted a 6-2 victory at home in the teams' last meeting on Feb. 18.
On Friday, Tomas Kopecky and Derek Meech scored for Detroit, while Osgood made 30 saves in his return to the lineup after a four-game break.
Ty Conklin, though, is expected start this contest looking for a seventh straight victory. He is 22-7-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average this season and has a 1.84 GAA in his last six games. Conklin is 4-2-1 with a 2.75 GAA all-time against the Predators and has started all three games against them this season.
While Kopecky has two goals with an assist in his last three games, Henrik Zetterberg has three goals and three assists against Nashville this season.
Marian Hossa - Detroit's second-leading scorer with 61 points - is expected to miss his second straight game with a sore neck. He could play at St. Louis on Tuesday.
After their previous nine wins were decided by two or fewer goals, the Predators had an easier time in a 4-1 home victory over Phoenix on Thursday.
Jason Arnott scored his team-leading 23rd goal and Steve Sullivan added his fourth in five games for the Predators, who are focused on taking care of themselves before worrying about the other teams in the standings.
"We know where everybody is and what we have to do," said Sullivan, who had two goals in the last meeting with Detroit. "We still believe our destiny is in our own hands. We have to win games here."
Arnott has seven goals and five assists in his last 13 games - including two assists versus the Red Wings.
Pekka Rinne made 25 saves Thursday to improve to 19-10-1 with a 2.21 GAA on the season. The rookie made 46 saves in the Predators' 5-3 loss at home to Detroit on Feb. 10 in the teams' last meeting in Nashville.
|Apr 09 '09||NSH 4 at DET 3 - SO||J. Arnott|
|Mar 29 '09||NSH 4 at DET 3||R. Suter|
|Feb 28 '09||DET 0 at NSH 8||V. Koistinen|
|Feb 18 '09||NSH 2 at DET 6||N. Lidstrom|
|Feb 10 '09||DET 5 at NSH 3||H. Zetterberg|
|Dec 26 '08||DET 2 at NSH 3||V. Fiddler|
|G. De Vries||52||1||4||5||-12||48||0||0|
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