Predators-Red Wings Preview

The Detroit Red Wings managed to slow down the hottest team in

the NHL in their most recent game. They’ll try to keep rolling

against a club that’s been decidedly colder of late.

The Red Wings seek a season high-tying fifth straight win

Saturday night when they return home to face a Nashville Predators

team that has lost three in a row.

Detroit (13-7-1) couldn’t hold on to a pair of one-goal leads in

regulation when it visited red-hot Boston in the NHL’s inaugural

Thanksgiving Showdown on Friday. The Red Wings, though, went on to

snap the Bruins’ 10-game win streak with a 3-2 victory in their

first shootout this season.

“It’s a game you get up for, especially when you’re playing the

defending Stanley Cup champs,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “It’s

kind of a measuring stick for our club. I thought our team

responded real well. It was a fun game to play in, two very even

teams as well, so we’re very happy with a win today.”

Jimmy Howard made a season-high 41 saves and Pavel Datsyuk

extended his point streak to five games with a second-period goal.

Valtteri Filppula scored for the second time in as many


Those performances have given Detroit a chance to match its

five-game season-opening win streak as it faces one of its Central

Division rivals for the first time. The Red Wings dropped six in a

row after that run but have rebounded to win eight times in their

last 10 games.

Having won five straight at home, Detroit also has a chance at

its longest streak there since a seven-game run March 11-April 1,


Nashville, meanwhile, is 0-2-1 since a 7-1-2 stretch and gave up

three goals during the third period of a 3-2 defeat to Minnesota in

the opener of a five-game trip Wednesday. Despite the loss, coach

Barry Trotz was pleased to see an improved performance from a 6-2

loss to Edmonton the previous night.

“It was a much better effort. We had better focus, we stayed

with the game plan longer and I wish we would have gotten a point

or two out of it,” said Trotz, whose team is one loss shy of

matching its season-high skid from Oct. 13-20.

Nashville (10-7-4) got more points last season against the Red

Wings than in any of its previous campaigns, going 4-1-1. The

Predators won in their final two games at Joe Louis Arena after

losing 11 times in their previous 15 visits.

Sergei Kostitsyn had a team-best seven points (four goals, three

assists) against Detroit last season, and Ryan Suter contributed a

goal and five assists. Suter enters with two goals and four assists

in his last four contests.

Datsyuk has four goals and five assists in his last five games

after a slow start. The left wing has a good chance to continue his

point streak as he has five goals and eight assists in his last

eight matchups with Nashville.

He’s also registered five goals and 10 assists in his last nine

home games against the Predators.