6:30 PM CT – Nashville Predators (16-21-9) @ Detroit Red Wings (22-16-8)
TV: Fox Sports Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game
Last time out:
NSH- In their home finale on Tuesday night, the Predators emerged victorious in a back-and-forth battle with the Flames. Third-period goals from Austin Watson and Matt Halischuk broke the 2-2 tie and propelled the Predators to a 4-3 victory, snapping an eight-game skid. Watson (first NHL goal), Filip Forsberg (first point), David Legwand (200th goal) and Hal Gill (1,100th game) all had milestone nights.
DET- Last night, the Red Wings picked up a massive 3-1 victory over Los Angeles to leapfrog Columbus into eighth place in the Western Conference. Early in the third period, former Predator Jordin Tootoo notched the game-winning goal on a deflection, which was bookended by goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen.
Players to watch:
NSH- Mike Fisher
The Predators center is expected to return to the lineup for just his third game since Mar. 28. How much of an impact will Fisher be able to make as the Preds look to play spoiler?
DET- Henrik Zetterberg
Zetterberg has five assists in the last two games and will need a similar big-time effort tonight with Detroit’s playoff hopes on the line.
Projected starting goaltenders:
NSH- Chris Mason (2012-13 stats: 1-5-1, 3.80 GAA)
DET- Jimmy Howard (2012-13 stats: 19-13-7, 2.19 GAA)
Projected lineups from last game/practice:
|Kevin Henderson||David Legwand||Mike Fisher|
|Sergei Kostitsyn||Nick Spaling||Daniel Bang|
|Bobby Butler||Chris Mueller||Matt Halischuk|
|Rich Clune||Craig Smith||Joonas Rask|
|Taylor Beck*||Brandon Yip*||Patric Hornqvist*|
|Roman Josi||Shea Weber||Pekka Rinne|
|Victor Bartley||Kevin Klein||Chris Mason|
|Hal Gill||Jonathon Blum|
|Detroit Red Wings|
|Henrik Zetterberg||Pavel Datsyuk||Justin Abdelkader|
|Johan Franzen||Valtteri Filppula||Daniel Cleary|
|Gustav Nyquist||Joakim Andersson||Damien Brunner|
|Patrick Eaves||Cory Emmerton||Jordin Tootoo|
|Drew Miller*||Mikael Samuelsson*|
|Niklas Kronwall||Jonathan Ericsson||Jimmy Howard|
|Kyle Quincey||Brendan Smith||Jonas Gustavsson|
|Jakub Kindl||Danny DeKeyser|
|Carlo Colaiacovo||Ian White||*-Injured|
*Lineups are subject to change
NSH- Patric Hornqvist and Taylor Beck (upper body, out), Brandon Yip (lower body, out), Paul Gaustad and Colin Wilson (shoulder, out), Gabriel Bourque (knee, out)
DET- Darren Helm and Todd Bertuzzi (back, out), Mikael Samuelsson (pectoral, out), Drew Miller (hand, out)
Keys to the game:
NSH- Full 60 minute effort… To their credit, the Predators haven’t given up on this season. They played well in Chicago and earned a point and followed it up with a win over Calgary. Tonight is a different animal, as the Preds will go up against a desperate Red Wings team. But you know they’d love nothing better than spoil their playoff hopes. To do so, the Preds will need a 60-minute effort to make things difficult on Detroit.
DET- Howard out-duel Mason… Starting for a second-consecutive night shouldn’t be a problem for Howard, who has been successful in these situations this season. Still, anything short of Howard’s best effort could put a dent in Detroit’s hopes of staying in eighth. If he’s better than Mason tonight, the Preds will have a hard time in this one.
Numbers to know:
- This is the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this season. The Preds won the first meeting, but the Wings responded with two wins of their own.
- 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals: 4-1 Predators
- The Preds are 5-12-5 on the road this season … Detroit is 11-7-4 at home.
- Dating back to 2010, the Preds have won in six of their last 10 trips to Detroit, including the playoffs.
- Chris Mason is 7-6-3 with a 3.11 GAA and .909 save percentage in 20 career games vs. Detroit. His counterpart, Jimmy Howard, is 8-5-1 with a 2.20 GAA and .923 save percentage in 16 career games vs. Nashville.
- David Legwand has 40 points in 66 career games vs. Detroit.
- Shea Weber has 5 points in his last 7 regular-season games vs. Detroit.
- Power play: Nashville (17.0%, 18th) … Detroit (18.6%, 15th)
- Penalty kill: Nashville (75.9%, 29th) … Detroit (81.4%, 13th)
As tonight is the last time the Preds and Wings will meet as Western Conference foes, let’s look at one of the most memorable games in the rivalry’s history: the 8-0 game…