By Amanda DiPaolo
The Nashville Predators head into Detroit for tomorrow’s match-up against the Red Wings seven points behind the Central Division leaders. If the Predators are going to close the gap between them and the Red Wings, they will need to put Monday night’s 4-0 shutout loss against the Edmonton Oilers behind them.
Edmonton has the worst record in the League at 16-29-8. But Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz says Nashville didn’t overlook the Oilers looking ahead to Detroit. “We didn’t take this team for granted. We came out smoking and moving the puck. Our inability to score probably gave them some momentum,” Trotz explained.
Trotz also emphasized that Nashville dominated play until the frustration with lack of offense set in. “We had the majority of the play—we had good forecheck, we had chances—but we came up empty handed. It was one of those cases where the frustration of not being able to score led to our downfall. We put 37 shots on net, weren’t able to score on the power play, trying to make all these little plays instead of keeping it simple.”
Defenseman Ryan Suter says Monday’s loss was a difficult one, but the team needs to move on. “It’s definitely a tough one but it’s a long season and you have to go into Detroit and want to win there. They’re one of the best teams in the League, and we have to show up and play hard against them.”
Heading to Detroit, the Predators are going to a city where the team has found some moderate success as of late, but historically has struggled to come away with many points.
Before this season, the Predators posted a 9-19-(2)-5 record at Joe Louis Arena. But Predators defenseman Shane O’Brien points out that this year, Nashville has turned things around. “We’ve had some success against Detroit this season. I think last time we were there we beat them. It’s always a fun place to play. We’ll have a good day at practice [Tuesday] and then we’ll be ready to roll,” he said.
A season ago, the Predators finished the season with a 1-2 record in Detroit. This year, the Predators have a 2-1 lead in the season series and have split a pair of games at Joe Louis Arena, first losing on October 30th by a 5-2 score. Last time in Detroit, Nashville came away the winners 3-2. On Saturday night, the Predators blanked the Red Wings 3-0.
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