The Nashville Predators get their first look at revenge as they’ll travel north to take on the Detroit Red Wings. Time to end the losing streak.
It’s a team that has been a thorn in the side of the Nashville Predators since they came into existence. The Detroit Red Wings already have a win against the Predators this season, had two wins against them last season and overwhelmingly own the all-time series.
The Predators are looking to get back to their winning ways after having a four-game winning streak snapped only to turn around and lose two in a row. Their most recent loss to the Rangers they looked sluggish, unprepared and shaky with their offensive flow.
In the first meeting between these two old rivals, Detroit struck with the first two goals of the game. The Predators would rally back twice to tie it, but ultimately Detroit would get the 5-3 win. Juuse Saros was in net and gave up four goals on just 27 shots. Expect Pekka Rinne to go this time around.
How the Red Wings are looking
The Red Wings are in the midst of a massive slump right, losing all but one game in their last 11 dating back to October 12th. In fact, Detroit has won just three games since beating the Predators on the first Saturday of the regular season.
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This should be the perfect game for Rinne to get back on track as he’ll be going against a Detroit team who averages the least amount of goals per game in the entire NHL. They’re only average 2.2 goals per game. They also give up the third-most goals per game at 3.8.
If these trends continue, then this should be a fairly easy win for the Predators. However, the Predators have to fix their own issues. Their last two losses have been frustrating in the sense that they blew a big lead against Calgary, and simply got outworked against the Rangers.
The Red Wings are very top-heavy on their roster when you look at it. They have Tyler Bertuzzi as one their leading scorers with 14 points. He torched the Predators for four points in their win earlier this season.
Other weapons to look out for is Dyland Larkin who has 12 points, and Anthony Mantha who already has nine goals and tied with Bertuzzi for the team lead in points with 14. A lot of unproven pieces outside of a few at the top.
What’s hurting Detroit is they’re not getting contributions from their depth. They only have three players in double digits in points, while the Predators have eight players in double digits. They’re also struggling big time in net with Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Bernier. Both goaltenders have save percentages below 90 and goals against averages at 3.5 or higher.
Take care of business
No reason why the Predators shouldn’t get back on track and win this matchup with the Red Wings. They’re at full strength now that Filip Forsberg is back in the lineup and have the clear edge in pretty much every category and position.
However, the Predators haven’t instilled much confidence in myself thinking they’ll take care of an opponent that doesn’t stack up on paper. The Predators have played down to their competition all season, but they’ve also played really well against quality opponents. It’s time to see them take care of an opponent they’re clearly better than.
I’m looking for Matt Duchene to break his current drought. He hasn’t had a point in four-straight games, and has just five shots on goal through that same stretch. We need to see him get out of this funk he’s in and return to form of how he started the season.
Neither team is particularly been strong on their respective power plays or penalty kills, but Detroit has been worse. This is a good spot for the Predators power play to continue to show improvement against the 28th ranked penalty kill in the NHL.
The Predators should come into this one angry and aggressive after the poor showing that put up against the Rangers on Saturday afternoon. If they come out locked in and focused like this is a Game 7 in the playoffs, they’ll win this one fairly comfortably. They get back in the win column against an overmatched opponent and taste some revenge from their October 5th loss to these guys.