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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, December 30th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (18-13-9) at Nashville Predators (17-18-4), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings will play their final game before hosting the 2014 Winter Classic and look to create some additional momentum in Monday night's meeting with the Nashville Predators.
The Red Wings will welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to Michigan Stadium on Wednesday and hope to do so as a winner in four of their last five. Their current 3-1-0 stretch comes on the heels of a six-game winless slump.
Detroit saw the return of Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader in Saturday's 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Zetterberg had a power-play goal after missing 11 straight with a back injury, while Abdelkader had missed five in a row with a concussion.
Daniel Alfredsson also scored on the man advantage and Brendan Smith and Gustav Nyquist scored 38 seconds apart early in the third to lift Detroit.
Jonas Gustavsson made 30 saves in net and Pavel Datsyuk added two assists.
"We came out strong in the third," said Nyquist. "It was a real nice win for us."
The Red Wings could get even deeper ahead of Wednesday's outdoor clash if Jimmy Howard returns tonight from a sprained left MCL that has sidelined the netminder since Dec. 10.
Howard is 6-8-7 with a 2.66 goals against average in 21 starts this season and 9-6-1 lifetime versus the Predators with a 2.18 GAA and three shutouts.
Nashville will try to go into the new year on a winning streak, having snapped a five-game losing streak (0-4-1) with a 3-2 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
It was a wild finish as Mike Fisher scored a power-play goal with 3:18 left in regulation before the Kings countered with a game-tying tally with 36.7 seconds left.
The Predators quickly answered just 10 seconds later on the next shift. Colin Wilson skated down the left wing and fed Fisher in the middle. Fisher's shot went off Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens and was a ruled a goal, upheld after a video review confirmed the puck crossed the goal line.
Fisher also assisted on Patric Hornqvist's first-period tally and Marek Mazanec made 26 saves.
"It was nice to get back in the win column for sure," said Nashville rookie Seth Jones, who had two assists. "We weren't playing too bad, we just couldn't find a way to win."
The Predators snapped a three-game slide to the Red Wings by winning the first of two meetings this season 2-0 on Nov. 19 in Detroit. Mazanec made 27 saves in his first career shutout, while Gabriel Bourque and Shea Weber had a goal each.
Howard allow both goals on 25 shots.
12/30 10:33:23 ET