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Gameday Updates: Nashville Predators @ Detroit Red Wings Line Combinations, Key Matchups

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NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

A couple changes to the lineup from last game, as the OMG line is back and Larkin is back on Wing while Blashill tries to find a combination of forwards to work around the Nyquist-Helm-Vanek line. Also on defense:

Line Combinations

Forwards

Tomas Tatar

Henrik Zetterberg

Riley Sheahan

Justin Abdelkader

Frans Nielsen

Dylan Larkin

Gustav Nyquist

Darren Helm

Tomas Vanek

Steve Ott

Luke Glendening

Drew Miller


Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser

Mike Green

Brendan Smith

Ryan Sproul

Jonathan Ericsson

Alexey Marchenko


Goaltenders

Petr Mrazek (starting)

Jimmy Howard

Power Play units:

  1. Tatar-Nielsen-Zetterberg, Vanek (net front), Green
  2. Nyquist-Larkin-Sheahan, Abdelkader (net front), Sproul


Predators Line Combinations

Forwards

Calle Jarnkrok

Ryan Johnansen

James Neal

Filip Forsberg

Mike Ribeiro

Craig Smith

Colin Wilson

Mike Fisher

Viktor Arvidsson

Cody Bass

Colton Sissons

Kevin FIala


Defensemen

Roman Josi

P.K. Subban

Mattias Ekholm

Ryan Ellis

Matt Carle

Yannick Weber


Goaltenders

Pekka Rinne (starting)

Marek Mazanec

Keys to the Game:

Stay Out of the Penalty Box

As I mentioned in the Morning Skate article, Nashville has not scored a ton so far this season and almost all of their goals have come with the man advantage (seven goals total, five with the man advantage in three games). This is not great news for a Wings team that is giving up close to four power plays a game right now and has already ceded multiple 5-on-3 opportunities over their first four games.

Odd Men Out

Odd man rushes have been an issue in this early season for the Wings. It is not too unreasonable to say that without the play of both Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard the Wings could easily be sitting at 0-4-0. Some of the odd man rushes they have given up have been a direct result of the Wings attempts to play more aggressive in the offensive zone as well as on the forecheck Since they have played their best hockey of this young season when they are playing this aggressive style they have to cut out the unforced turnovers and poor line changes that result in even more odd man situations.

Scoring from the Scoring Lines

The Wings have 12 goals on the season. Of those 12, exactly one is from a "Top six" forward. As great as the Helm line has been playing so far, if the Wings are going to be a playoff contender this year they need to be supplementing the team’s offense not carrying it. The Larkin line in particular needs to find the back of the net.