Preds' losing streak is history, now they seek to end Detroit's historical streak

Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 9:44pm

The Nashville Predators figured it was important that they ended a three-game losing streak with Tuesday’s victory over Chicago.

“That’s how the league is — you’re so hot and then you fall off,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. “It’s the teams that quit the losing streaks the fastest that are going to be there at the end of the year.

Friday, they’ll attempt to end another streak — an unprecedented one — when they play the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena (6:30 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee).

The same night the Predators ended their streak, the Red Wings extended their run of consecutive home victories to a league-record 21 games with a triumph over the Dallas Stars. The record of 20 was set in 1929-30 by the Boston Bruins and matched in 1975-76 by the Philadelphia Flyers.

The streak includes a 4-1 victory over Nashville on Nov. 26.

“Detroit has just had an unbelievable run at home,” coach Barry Trotz said. “They just can’t lose, and that’s great. But at some point, hopefully, it turns around and we can get a win in Detroit on Friday.”

Detroit’s last loss on home ice was Nov. 3. Seventeen of the 21 games were resolved in regulation. Of the other four, three went to a shootout.

That run has helped it to the league’s best record and an eight-point advantage over Nashville, which enters the contest alone in fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

“We still have a tough road ahead of us,” goalie Pekka Rinne said. “The only thing I’m worried about is our own destiny. That’s the best thing, it’s in our own hands. We’re out ourselves in a good position right now. That makes things a little more comfortable.

“On Friday we’re going to face a tough team in Detroit.”

Overall, the Red Wings have 24 victories in 27 home games and trail St. Louis by one for the most wins on home ice this season. The Blues are 25-3-4 in their own building following a victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday.

“St. Louis has lost only three [regulation] games at home — twice to the Preds,” Trotz noted. “The four points [because it’s a division game] are what really matters, not the streak, for our sake.

“It’s not our streak.”

It is theirs to break, though.

Briefly

• The Predators and Milwaukee Admirals announced an extension of their affiliation agreement through the 2013-14 season with a mutual option for 2014-15.

The Admirals have served as Nashville’s AHL affiliate since 1998-99, the Predators’ inaugural season. Both of Trotz’s assistants, Peter Horachek and Lane Lambert, were head coaches at Milwaukee, and the majority of players on the current Nashville roster spent time with Milwaukee.

The Admirals are the only AHL team to win at least 40 games and accumulate at least 90 points in eight straight seasons (2003-04 through 2010-11).

“The Milwaukee Admirals have cultivated a winning tradition, as evidenced by their nine consecutive trips to the playoffs — including a Calder Cup Championship in 2004 and another appearance in the Calder Cup Finals in 2006,” general manager David Poile said in a statement. “… This has been and will continue to be a partnership that rewards both teams, and most importantly, the hockey fans in both cities.”

• The Red Wings announced Thursday that Henrik Zetterberg would not play Friday because of a lower body injury sustained early in Tuesday’s game against Dallas.

Zetterberg has played in every game this season and has nine points in his last six games. His status is considered day-to-day.