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Game Preview: Nashville Predators v. Detroit Red Wings

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Your Nashville Predators take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight at 6:30 CST at Joe Louis Arena. Let’s see how these teams stack up.

Current Record

  • Predators 7-9-2 (20 pts) 7th in the Central
  • Red Wings 9-5-7 (25 pts) 4th in the Atlantic

Last Five

  • Predators 1-4-0
  • Red Wings 0-0-5

Stats

  • Goals per game – Preds 2.3 (24th) – Red Wings 2.6 (16th)
  • Goals against – Preds 3.1 (25th) – Red Wings 2.7 (16th)
  • Power Play % – Preds 20.3 (11th) – Red Wings 21.5 (7th)
  • Penalty Kill % – Preds 81.7 (20th) – Red Wings 86.1 (5th)

The Preds head back on the road for a date with the Detroit Red Wings after a quick stop at home to change out their luggage. The game against the Red Wings is the first time these two teams have met without important intra-division points on the line. Realignment this summer moved the Predators first real rival to the Eastern Conference. So far, Detroit has enjoyed the transition to the East with easier travel and a 5-2-4 record against Eastern Conference opponents. They are currently in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference and only three points behind the conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.

Detroit has struggled a bit of late. They are winless in their last six games, but have still picked up five points, with two overtime and three shootout losses over the last five. It is hard to imagine a team as talented as Detroit being so snakebite in the shootout. Over the last three games, the Red Wings only have 1 goal in 9 shootout chances. The only goal was scored by Daniel Alfredsson, while Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk both went 0 for 3.

The Pred have also struggled of late, but come into the game riding a wave of excitement after the big 7-2 win over Chicago on Saturday night. The seven goal explosion against Chicago matched the Preds offensive output over their prior five games and will need to continue if the Preds are going to push for the playoffs. (Check out our discussion of the Preds playoff chances here). We are not asking for the Preds to score 7 again, but 4 would probably do the trick.

Similar to the Blackhawks, the Red Wings are a talented offensive team so it will be interesting to see the defensive pairs used by Trotz and co. and how they try to match them up with the last change. Seth Jones and Shea Weber have been spending less time together on the top pair and this could be another game where that trend continutes.

It also looks like Marek Mazanec will get the start tonight for Nashville. Josh Cooper at the Tennessean is reporting he was the first goalie off the ice after practice this morning.  This will be Mazanec’s fourth consecutive start in place of Carter Hutton and Pekka Rinne. It looks like the Preds have found a guy they plan to stick with and baring a change is status, will probably until Rinne returns. Here’s hoping Mazanec is up to the task.

Prediction – Red Wings 3-2 (SO). Yes, sometimes you have to predict the Preds might lose; thinking Detroit will get back in the win column, but the Preds will still nab a point.

*****

Scott Gardner is the Editor at Predlines.com and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @scottcgardner. For the latest updates in Predator news, follow @PredlinesNSH

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Tags: Nashville Predators

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