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Gameday Updates: Red Wings at Predators

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Red Wings vs Predators, Part 2: The Return of Brendan Smith

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

The Wings confirmed for the diggers that Kronwall would be sitting, as expected, and also that Nielsen won’t be able to go tonight after missing the third period last night with an upper body injury. Here’s Teddy confirming:

Lines are kind of a guess right now with the 2C out. We’re figuring Helm and Sheahan will get moved up with Jurco slotting in on the fourth. If we get updated info, we’ll update.

Red Wings Expected Lineup

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Gustav Nyquist Henrik Zetterberg Anthony Mantha
Tomas Tatar Darren Helm Dylan Larkin
Andreas Athanasiou Riley Sheahan Thomas Vanek
Tomas Jurco Luke Glendening Justin Abdelkader
Left Defense Right Defense
Danny DeKeyser Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson Xavier Ouellet
Brenden Smith Nick Jensen
Goalie
Petr Mrazek

Power Play Units:

Larkin-Sheahan-Vanek-Zetterberg-Green

Tatar-Helm-Abdelkader-Kronwall-Neilsen

Injuries: Franzen (concussion), Vitale (concussion), Ott (shoulder), Howard (MCL Sprain)

Predators Expected Lineup

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Filip Forsberg Ryan Johansen Viktor Arvidsson
Austin Watson Mike Fisher Craig Smith
Colin Wilson Calle Jarnkrok James Neal
Cody McLeod Colton Sissons Harry Zolnierczyk
Left Defense Right Defense
Mattias Ekholm P.K. Subban
Matt Irwin Ryan Ellis
Anthony Bitetto Yannick Weber
Goalie
Pekka Rinne

Power Play Units:

Arvidsson-Johansen-Neal-Ekholm-Forsberg

Wilson-Fisher-Jarnkrok-Ellis-Subban

Injuries: Roman Josi (Upper Body), Miikka Salomaki (Upper Body)

Keys to the Game:

Come out swinging

How many times do we have to beat this dead horse this year? A lot. Detroit’s inability to consistently come out strong and the sound of the bell has caused it lots of problems. Nashville has a very solid defensive core, and they will be looking to do the things that have stymied Detroit most games this season: skate hard on the forecheck, and clog up the neutral zone. Detroit will need crisp passes from its blue line and smooth skating from the forwards to evade the defensive pressure.

Get Pekka Rinne moving laterally

Pekka Rinne is a huge player at 6’5”. I remember Todd Bertuzzi talking once about a shootout goal he scored against another massive goalie, Mike Smith. Bert spoke to the importance of getting Mike Smith to move laterally to create daylight in the net. Detroit will have to do the same against Rinne. Look for the Wings to send the puck down low behind the net for wraparound attempts and cross-ice passes to shuffle Rinne out of position.

Fun Facts!

-The all-time record is in Detroit’s favor! (63-42-4) Good on us!

-On March 5th, 2014, the Red Wings traded Calle Jarnkrok and Patrick Eaves to the Predators for David Legwand. The most productive player of that trade is currently Dallas’s first line winger, Patrick Eaves. Life takes strange turns.

-Despite torrid rumors over the past few weeks, the giant prehistoric skull the Predators skate out of at the start of every home game is, in fact, a fake.