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.