Morning Skate: Tatar Time in Nashville?

News broke this morning from none other than Tomas Tatar himself.

The Red Wings' prospect tweeted that he has been called up by the big club and we could see Tatar in the lineup tonight. According the the Red Wings official Twitter account, the team placed Chris Conner on short term injured reserve. Conner will be out two weeks with a hand injury. He's played very well in his role since being called up and gathered a lot of attention lately about his recent impact and whether he could stick with the Red Wings after Jan Mursak and Patrick Eaves returned from injury. Let's hope Conner's injury won't turn into anything too serious.

According to Ansar Khan of MLive, Ken Holland said Tatar has been called up for insurance purposes. Someone else on the team is fighting a minor injury and if he cannot play than Tatar will be inserted into the lineup. If the injured played is good-to-go, than Tatar will be returned to the Griffins in Cleveland. Cory Emmerton will return to the lineup tonight regardless of what happens to Tatar.

With or without Tatar, the Wings look to extend their winning streak when they play in Nashville tonight. The Wings have won three-in-a-row and 10 of their last 12. The Predators on the other hand have also won three-in-a-row. They've played some tough games too and beaten the always tough Blue Jackets in overtime and just slipped past the Ducks and Flames in one goal games. Always solid when taking points from Western Conference contenders.

We also get a chance to see the Predators yellow home jerseys for the first time this season (oh joy) and will be able to watch and debate which Nashville defenseman -- Shea Weber or Ryan Suter -- would look better in a Winged Wheel sweater.

On the Forecheck is you SBNation Predators' blog.

Puck drop is just after 8p ET

The Expected Lineup

Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Todd Bertuzzi

Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler

Danny Cleary -- Darren Helm -- Tomas Tatar/Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller -- Justin Abdelkader/Cory Emmerton -- Tomas Holmstrom

***

Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jakub Kindl -- Jonathan Ericsson

***

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Ty Conklin

Scratches: Mike Commodore and Cory Emmerton/Tomas Tatar

Injuries: Jan Mursak (ankle), Patrick Eaves (jaw) and Chris Conner (hand)

RED WINGS HOW THEY MATCH UP PREDATORS
19-9-1 Record 15-11-4
3.17 (5th) Goals Per Game 2.63 (T-15th)
2.17 (5th) Goals Against Per Game 2.63 (14th)
20.0% (6th) Power Play % 20.8% (T-3rd)
81.2% (20th) Penalty Kill % 84.3% (10th)
Johan Franzen (14 goals) Goal Leader 3 tied with 8 goals
Pavel Datsyuk (30 points) Points Leader Craig Smith (23 points)

  • The Red Wings are 44-21-4-7 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Nashville Predators.
  • Surprised to see just how good the Preds power play is. Could be a specialty teams battle with their top 5 PP and the Wings' 20th ranked PK.
  • The Preds are also a very average, middle-of-the-pack team right now. Having the exact same goals-for average and goals-against average isn't going to win you too many games.
  • Datsyuk has 19 points in his last 12 games.
  • The Red Wings defeated Nashville 4-1 on the day after the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Preds goalie Pekka Rinne has given up four goals in each of his last two start against the Wings. He currently sports a 2.52 GAA and a .921 SV% this season with three shutouts.

Prediction: Wings win a close one 3-2. Henrik Zetterberg is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.

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