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Slumping Rangers Visit Suddenly Scoreless Red Wings

(Sports Network) - After getting shut out just once in its first 50 games of the season, Detroit has been blanked in each of its last two games. The Red Wings will try to find the net tonight, when they host the sliding New York Rangers at Joe Louis Arena.

The Central Division-leading Red Wings had won two straight before losing a pair of 3-0 decisions to Columbus and Nashville. The last time Detroit was shut out in consecutive games was when it was swept in a home-and-home series by Chicago on Dec. 20-23 of last season.

Over the franchise's long and storied history, the Red Wings have never been blanked in three straight regular-season games.

The Rangers, meanwhile, have lost four straight games and were also shut out in their last trip to the ice, dropping Saturday's 2-0 decision in Montreal.

This evening's contest marks the only scheduled encounter between the Red Wings and Rangers this season. Detroit recorded a 3-1 road win in the only meeting in 2009-10, giving the Red Wings wins in four straight and 13 of their last 15 games against New York.

The Rangers, who are 17-10-1 on the road this season, have also lost five straight in the Motor City.

Detroit sent 35 shots Pekka Rinne's way on Saturday, but the netminder stopped every one in Nashville's 3-0 triumph at Bridgestone Arena. Sergei Kostitsyn scored twice for the Preds in the win.

Joey MacDonald was tagged for all three goals on 29 shots for the Red Wings, who have lost three in a row just once this season when they went 0-2-1 from Dec. 4-8.

Detroit is hoping to receive a boost tonight from the possible return of forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom, who have both missed considerable time with broken hands. Datsyuk has sat out the last 19 games and Holmstrom has missed eight tilts.

Datsyuk is fourth on Detroit with 39 points this season, while Holmstrom has 11 goals and 11 assists. Both players are questionable for tonight.

Detroit will wrap a brief two-game homestand when it hosts a rematch against the Predators on Wednesday. The Red Wings are 15-7-4 on home ice this season.

New York was dealt a 2-0 loss by Carey Price and the Canadiens on Saturday. Price made 35 saves and former Ranger Scott Gomez scored one of Montreal's goals.

Martin Biron allowed just one goal on 28 shots for the Rangers. Regular starter Henrik Lundqvist, who was pulled after allowing three goals on 12 shots in Thursday's loss to New Jersey, could be back in the crease tonight.

Rangers forward Chris Drury sat out Saturday's game with a sore left knee and he could miss tonight's tilt as well. Drury has been hampered by injuries all year and has just four assists in 23 games this season.

The Rangers, who will close a three-game road trip Friday in Atlanta, have dropped three of their last five games as the guest.