Morning Skate: Red Wings at Predators Preview

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

7:30p ET, Bridgestone Arena

Nashville, TN

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NBCSN, NHL Network (CA)

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Predators Blogs: Ill Communication

Detroit Red Wings Tickets

The Detroit Red Wings are officially on the outside looking in.

Thankfully for all of our sanity, the season isn't over just yet. Detroit currently sits in 9th place in the Western Conference thanks to the Stars picking up a 2-1 win over the Sharks last night (Screw you, San Jose). Dallas and the Wings are tied with 45 points each, but the Stars have 19 ROW to the Wings 17 (ROW = Regulation & Overtime Wins), thus winning the first tie breaker in the standings.

The Red Wings just need to continue start to take care of their own business. Overtime losses and charity points can be useful, but the real money is in the those two point wins. And two points sure as hell better get added to the Wings total tonight.

The Predators come into town closer to last place in the West than they do 8th. They should be focused on Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones. Not Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall. Of course, that probably means absolutely freakin' nothing. Let's not forget that every team in the league always brings their best against Detroit. You just know that they want to spoil the Wings season and help them miss the playoffs for the first time in over 20 years. So naturally, Pekka Rinne will return to Vezina worthy form, Shea Weber will crush some 1,000mph slap shots past Jimmy Howard and Filip Forsberg will score his first career NHL goal tonight in his debut.

So buckle your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. It's going to be a bumpy ride for the next two weeks. Let's hope this 21 year old playoff vehicle has some nice air bags to save us fans if the season crashes into a fiery wreck.

The Expected Lineup

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller - Johan Franzen - Gustav Nyquist

Daniel Cleary - Valtteri Filppula - Damien Brunner

Cory Emmerton - Joakim Andersson - Jordin Tootoo

*

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Brendan Smith - Kyle Quincey

Danny DeKeyser - Jakub Kindl

Brian Lashoff - Carlo Colaiacovo

*

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratches: Patrick Eaves, Ian White and two other defensemen

Injuries: Mikael Samuelsson (upper body), Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Darren Helm (back)

PREDATORS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
15-19-8 (38 pts; 13th in West) Record 19-15-7 (45 pts; 9th in West)
2.29 (30th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.46 (20th in NHL)
2.60 (17th) Goals Against Per Game 2.51 (13th)
17.6% (18th) Power Play % 18.4% (14th)
77.4% (27th) Penalty Kill % 80.3% (20th)
2 tied with 11 goals Goal Leader Pavel Datsyuk (13 goals)
2 tied with 23 points Points Leader Pavel Datsyuk (39 points)

  • The Red Wings are 47-24-4-8 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Nashville Predators.
  • Nashville has lost five straight games. Their last game was a 5-2 loss to the Stars. Thanks a lot, Preds.
  • The Wings are 3-3-3 on Sundays. They've lost their last two Sunday games by a combined 8-1 score.
  • The last time these two teams met was February 23. Detroit shut out the Predators 4-0 to end a 5 game losing streak (remember that!). Miller and Tomas Tatar each notched a goal and Cleary added two.
  • Detroit is 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. Nashville is 2-6-2.
  • Howard is 6-5-1 with a 2.42 GAA and .916 SV% with one shutout in 13 career regular starts against the Predators.
Prediction: Detroit was on a 5 game losing streak the last time these two teams squared off and then pulled off a 4-0 win. Naturally, Nashville is on a 5 game losing streak right now so they will ultimately win this game tonight 4-0. It's science, folks.


Let's Go Red Wings.
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