The Detroit Red Wings will try to add another victory to the longest home winning streak in NHL history tonight, as they host the rival Nashville Predators for a Central Division clash at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit tied the NHL mark with its 20th consecutive win in the Motor City in Sunday's victory against Philadelphia and the Red Wings claimed the record all for themselves with Tuesday's triumph over Dallas. Mike Babcock's club hasn't lost in front of the home crowd since November 3 against Calgary and the 21 straight wins at the Joe passes the record previously held by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers.
"Obviously we're proud of what we accomplished," Babcock said after Tuesday's 3-1 victory over the Stars. "But we still have a lot of hockey to go and we have to keep doing what we've been doing here."
The Red Wings will try to record consecutive home win No. 22 tonight without the services of star forward Henrik Zetterberg, who suffered a lower-body injury on Tuesday and has been ruled out for this evening's test. Zetterberg is tied for third on Detroit with 44 points.
Detroit has won four straight overall and each of those victories have come at the start of a six-game homestand, bringing the Red Wings' record this season in Motown to 24-2-1.
The Red Wings are leading the Central Division by three points over St. Louis and are two points ahead of Vancouver for the Western Conference lead. Detroit is also sitting in the top spot in the NHL, as it's one point ahead of the New York Rangers for that distinction.
Brad Stuart, Jiri Hudler and Henrik Zetterberg all scored in Detroit's most recent home triumph. Joey MacDonald stopped 20 shots for the win and was just 32.8 seconds away from a shutout.
"It's pretty cool to be a part of something like this," said Stuart. "It's taken a long time to accomplish this, but it feels really good to do this for the fans. There's been some tough ones here, that's for sure."
MacDonald has started the last five games for Detroit and has posted a 4-1 mark over that stretch. He could get the call again tonight, but No. 1 goaltender Jimmy Howard, who has been sidelined since Feb. 2 with a broken finger, has already been announced as the starter for Sunday's test against San Jose. Babcock said there's an outside chance Howard could return to action tonight.
Red Wings forward Danny Cleary was placed on injured reserve Thursday and will miss a fourth straight game tonight with a knee injury.
Detroit has taken two of three from Nashville this season and three of four overall in the series. Nashville has won three of its last five trips to the Motor City.
The Predators ended a three-game slide Tuesday night against visiting Chicago, but Nashville is still just 2-2-2 in February. The Preds are currently three points behind St. Louis for second place in the Central and the fourth seed in the West. Detroit is also eight points in front of Nashville for the division lead.
Ryan Ellis scored the game-winning goal in the third period and added an assist to lead the Predators to a 3-2 decision over the struggling Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena. Ryan Suter and Nick Spaling also scored for Predators, who got 30 saves from Pekka Rinne.
"It was a really tight game between two desperate teams," Rinne said. "Both teams were ready to go and played well, but we got that big goal at the end from Ellis. We needed this badly."
Nashville is 15-11-2 as the guest this season after losing its last three road games.