Wings cling to Western Conference lead heading into St. Louis

The St. Louis Blues will be welcoming the Detroit Red Wings to the Savvis Center with open arms on Saturday, as it will be one of their last chances to gain some ground on the current central division powerhouse. The Blues trail Detroit by 5 points in the standings, and currently sit fourth among all teams in the Western Conference. For St. Louis, there is no more time to waste if they wish to make a bid for the top spot in the conference.

Led by the former Red Wing netminder Chris Osgood, the Blues come into the battle winners of their last 3 games. After having goalie issues throughout much of the year, the Blues are hoping to find the answer in Ozzie. Osgood has won every game he has played in a Blues uniform, most recently stopping 24 of 26 shots against Anaheim to lead St. Louis to a 3-2 overtime victory. Pavol Demitra lit the lamp twice to earn his 31st and 32nd goals of the season in the win over the Ducks.

It looked as if the Red Wings may have been in for an upset in the early moments of their game against the Penguins. But unfortunately for Pittsburgh, they soon woke up to score 5 unanswered goals as they improved their season mark to 43-18-9-3. Detroit's leading point-getter Sergie Federov registered two of those five goals. The Red Wings will be venturing to cling to the top rung of the Western Conference ladder for the remainder of the season, as they are in pursuit of having home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. It will be no easy task with teams such as Vancouver, Dallas, and St. Louis continually posing a threat the Detroit's supremacy.

The Blues haven't been able to find a way to win against Detroit so far this season. They hope to be handed a better fate this time around, as they fell to the Red Wings by an embarrassing 7-2 score in their last meeting.

-Player To Watch-
St. Louis- #30 G Chris Osgood- Osgood is sure to be fired up for the opportunity to defeat his former mates. Earlier this season, Osgood held Detroit to only two goals to give the Islanders a tie against the Red Wings.

Detroit- #91 Sergei Federov- Has notched a respective 7 points against the Blues this year, and is coming into the contest on a roll.

-Out or in Doubt-
St. Louis- Chris Pronger D (Knee/Out), Jamal Mayers RW (Knee/Out), Keith Tkachuk LW (Wrist /Out), Rich Pilon D (Wrist/Out), Valeri Bure LW (Knee/Out)

Detroit- Jiri Fischer D (Knee/Out), Jesse Wallin D (Knee/Questionable)

-Between da Pipes-
St. Louis- #30 Chris Osgood (20-14-4, 2.84 GAA, .897 SV%, 3 SO), #35 Brent Johnson (15-11-5, 2.44 GAA, .900 SV%, 2 SO)

Detroit- #31 Curtis Joseph (30-17-6, 2.58 GAA, .910 SV%, 3 SO), #34 Manny Legace (13-4-3, 2.01 GAA, .932 SV%, 0 SO)

-Most Points This Season vs. Opposition-
St. Louis #5 Barret Jackman with 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) vs. Detroit

Detroit- #91 Sergei Federov with 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) vs. St. Louis

The game will be televised nationally at 3:00 p.m. eastern time on ABC.

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