If the St. Louis Blues want to move into first place in the - win a road game in Detroit.
Detroit, which last lost a home test on Nov. 3 against Calgary, has also won six straight overall and the Red Wings enter tonight with 65 points to lead both the Central and the NHL. However, the Blues, who are 8-0-1 this month, are just one point behind Detroit and locked in a tie with the Chicago Blackhawks for second in the division.
Tonight's tilt marks the fifth of six scheduled meetings between the Red Wings and Blues this year. The clubs have split four encounters so far in 2011-12 and Detroit has won the last two matchups, both of which were played at the Joe. The Red Wings have won five of their last six home tests against St. Louis, but the Blues' lone win in Detroit over that span came in a shocking 10-3 victory on March 30 of last season.
The Red Wings picked up their 16th straight home win on Saturday, as they outlasted the Columbus Blue Jackets in a shootout decision to improve to 19-2-1 as the host this season. The home winning mark is the longest the league has seen since the Philadelphia Flyers tied the NHL record with 20 straight home victories during the 1975-76 season.
Valtteri Filppula scored the only goal of the shootout on Saturday to give the Red Wings a 3-2 decision. It was the sixth win to come after regulation for Detroit this month. The Red Wings have won their last three games in a shootout by identical 3-2 scores.
In the fourth round, Filppula quickly faked from the backhand to the forehand and roofed a shot over Curtis Sanford. Ryan Johansen then had his wrist shot stopped by Jimmy Howard to seal the victory for Detroit.
"We've had a lot of close games lately," said Filppula. "It's a tough league and it's tough to get points, it was just nice to come away with the win tonight."
Meanwhile, the Blues earned their fourth consecutive victory on Saturday, as they closed a five-game homestand with a 4-2 triumph over Buffalo. David Backes had two goals and two assists to lift St. Louis to the win at Scottrade Center.
B.J. Crombeen and David Perron each scored for the Blues, while Jaroslav Halak made 19 stops for the win. Halak had posted shutouts in his previous two starts and has blanked the opposition three times in his last five trips to the crease.
"Buffalo hasn't had much success on the road, it was a scrappy win, but Halak made some key saves and we will take another two points here at home," said Backes.
The Blues, who are 8-9-3 on the road compared to a 21-3-3 mark at home, will play their final game before the All-Star break when they host Pittsburgh tomorrow. After the test against the Penguins, St. Louis won't play again until Feb. 3 against visiting Los Angeles.
The Red Wings will visit Montreal on Wednesday for its final game before the break. The game against the Habs will begin a five-game road trip for Detroit, which will visit Calgary on Jan. 31 to restart its season following the All- Star festivities in Ottawa.