Game Preview #27: Predators Visit Motor City

By Amanda DiPaolo

Season Records

Nashville Predators 12-8-6
Detroit Red Wings 17-5-3

Detroit Red Wings Jiri Hudler scored the only shootout gaome on Nashville Predators Pekka Rinne in thePredators 4-3 shooit-out win after Nashville was down 3-1 in the 3rd period in Detroit, MI on Thursday April 9, 2009.JULIAN H. GONZALEZ/Detroit Free Press Photo via Newscom
Rinne won’t be in net, but the Predators will have to stop all the offensive power from Detroit (Photo: Yardbarker.com)

The Nashville Predators visit Detroit Wednesday night in their attempt to extend their point streak to six games. Both teams are coming off losses. Nashville lost 3-2 on Monday night in overtime to the red hot Atlanta Thrashers. Also on Monday, San Jose had an offensive explosion when they dumped the Red Wings 5-2. Detroit has lost two in a row.

The Predators franchise-record setting streak of consecutive penalties killed off also come to an end when, on Atlanta’s fourth power play of the night, Andrew Ladd scored on the man advantage.

Wednesday’s game could see the return of David Legwand to the Predators lineup. Josh Cooper over at the Tennessean is reporting that Coach Barry Trotz lists Legwand as probable against Detroit.

The last time these two teams met was on October 30th in Detroit. The Red Wings won the game decisively 5-2. Five regulars on the Predators roster were out of the lineup, including Francis Bouillon, Jordin Tootoo, Marcel Goc, Ryan Suter, and Matthew Lombardi.

Detroit will be facing a different Predators team Wednesday night than they did at the tail end of October. Now out of the lineup is starting goaltender Pekka Rinne. It will be Anders Lindback’s first start against the Red Wings. Lindback’s record is 4-1-2.

Wednesday match won’t be an easy game to win. Detroit is 10-2-2 at home so far this season. Not only will Lindback be tested for the first time against the onslaught of offense that will no doubt be thrown his way by the Red Wings, but the Predators will somehow have to figure out a way to contain Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk has 29 points on the season in 25 games. And Joe Louis Arena is an unforgiving place for visiting teams to play. Nashville’s all-time record in Detroit is 9-20-7. Eight of the Predators nine wins have come from the last six seasons.

For the Predators to succeed, they will have to stay out of the penalty box and find some offense. The Martin Erat, Marcel Goc Sergei Kostitsyn line that has been together since November 30th against Phoenix has generated a lot of buzz among Pred-nation. All three players are scoring and setting up goals. Moving Colin Wilson to play with Cal O’Reilly and Steve Sullivan has also been a productive move. But these moves along won’t sustain Nashville’s offense. The power play needs to keep clicking. In the last six games, in which Nashville has collected points in all them, Nashville’s power play is 4-for-22, or 18.2 percent. The first 17 games the power play was 3-for-69, amounting to 4.3 percent. Nashville’s record is 5-2-1 when scoring on the man advantage.

After Wednesday night’s game, the Predators return to Nashville and play the next three at home. Florida and the Islanders from the Eastern Conference visit before San Jose makes its first trip to Music City.

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Tags: Anders Lindback Atlanta Thrashers Detroit Red Wings Francis Bouillon Jordin Tootoo Marcel Goc Matthew Lombardi Nashville Predators NHL Pekka Rinne Ryan Suter San Jose Sharks

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