6:00 PM CT – Nashville Predators (8-5-5) @ Detroit Red Wings (7-7-3)
TV: FS Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game
Last time out:
NSH- Last night the Predators collected their fourth shutout loss of the young season. After failing to capitalize on multiple first-period chances, Patric Hornqvist and company were shut down by Vancouver. Roberto Luongo out-dueled Pekka Rinne in the Canucks’ 1-0 victory over Nashville.
DET- Mike Babcock’s club scored two early goals Thursday against Columbus, only to see that lead evaporate. With the game tied 2-2 late in regulation, Blue Jackets forward Vinny Prospal scored with 24.7 seconds remaining to hand Detroit its fifth consecutive loss. They have not won a game since Feb. 10, when they dramatically beat Los Angeles.
Players to watch:
NSH- Shea Weber
With a game-winning goal and an assist, Weber had his best game of the season Tuesday night against these Red Wings. The Predators captain will also be returning to a building where he isn’t very well-liked after last spring’s playoffs.
DET- Pavel Datsyuk
Datsyuk was magnificent during Tuesday’s overtime loss in Nashville. He scored once while 1 vs. 5, picked up an assist shorthanded and generated many other chances. He’s dangerous at all times when he’s on the ice.
Projected starting goaltenders:
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2012-13 stats: 7-4-4, 1.63 GAA)
DET- Jimmy Howard (2012-13 stats: 6-6-2, 3.08 GAA)
Projected lineups from last game/practice:
|Colin Wilson||David Legwand||Martin Erat|
|Gabriel Bourque||Mike Fisher||Patric Hornqvist|
|Sergei Kostitsyn||Craig Smith||Brandon Yip|
|Richard Clune||Nick Spaling||Matt Halischuk|
|Roman Josi||Shea Weber||Pekka Rinne|
|Scott Hannan||Kevin Klein||Chris Mason|
|Hal Gill||Ryan Ellis|
|Detroit Red Wings|
|Valterri Filppula||Henrik Zetterberg||Damien Brunner|
|Justin Abdelkader||Pavel Datsyuk||Daniel Cleary|
|Drew Miller||Cory Emmerton||Jordin Tootoo|
|Tomas Tatar||Joakim Andersson||Patrick Eaves|
|Niklas Kronwall||Jonathan Ericsson||Jimmy Howard|
|Brian Lashoff||Ian White||Jonas Gustavsson|
|Jakub Kindl||Kent Huskins|
*Lineups are subject to change
NSH- Paul Gaustad (upper body, out)
DET- Kyle Quincey (leg, doubtful), Johan Franzen (hip, out), Todd Bertuzzi and Darren Helm (back, out), Mikael Samuelsson (finger, out), Brendan Smith and Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder, out)
Keys to the game:
NSH- Match Detroit’s desperation… The Red Wings will be a mad hockey team after blowing an early 2-0 lead Thursday on home ice, which was their fifth loss in a row. Before Tuesday’s game in Nashville, Babcock said his team was “taking on water.” You know they’ll come out like gangbusters, so the Preds, who have won just one of their last four games, will need to match that desperation.
DET- Improve special teams… If you don’t have a successful group of special teams, you probably won’t win games on a consistent basis in this league. Detroit currently ranks in the bottom-six in both the power play and penalty kill, which is historically uncharacteristic of them. To stop the bleeding, the special teams need to step up tonight (and moving forward) for the Wings.
Numbers to know:
- 2011-12 season series vs. Detroit: Tied 3-3
- 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals: 4-1 Predators
- The Preds are 4-3-2 on the road this season … Detroit is 5-4-1 at home.
- Dating back to 2010, the Preds have won in six of their last nine trips to Detroit, including the playoffs.
- Last season the Preds were 5-6-0 on the back end of back-to-backs; this season they are 2-1-0.
- Pekka Rinne is 12-5-3 with a 2.33 GAA and .931 save percentage in 20 career games vs. Detroit. His counterpart, Jimmy Howard, is 6-5-1 with a 2.55 GAA and .912 save percentage in 14 career games vs. Nashville.
- David Legwand has 40 points in 64 career games vs. Detroit.
- Sergei Kostitsyn has 10 points in 14 career games vs. Detroit.
- Power play: Nashville (14.8%, 22nd) … Detroit (12.8%, 28th)
- Penalty kill: Nashville (85.5%, 6th) … Detroit (75.7%, 25th)
On April 3, 2010, in Game 80 of the season, the Predators won a crucial game in Detroit to clinch a playoff spot. Ryan Suter scored the overtime winner to seal a 4-3 victory…