NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, February 9th
(All times eastern)
Nashville Predators (28-19-7) at Detroit Red Wings (32-15-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings will get a chance at revenge tonight
when they host the rival Nashville Predators for a Central Division clash at
Joe Louis Arena.
The Predators hosted Detroit this past Saturday and blanked the Red Wings in a
3-0 decision. It marked Nashville's second straight win over Detroit since
dropping the season-series opener and the Predators have won three of four and
seven out of 12 overall against the Red Wings.
Nashville has also won two of three and four out of seven in the Motor City
and has split a pair of games at the Joe this season.
The Red Wings are currently leading the Central Division with 70 points and
the second-place Predators are seven points behind the pace. Nashville is also
fifth in the West and is one point behind San Jose for the fourth seed.
Pekka Rinne made 35 saves to post his fourth shutout of the year in Saturday's
win over Detroit, but Rinne and the Preds did not fare nearly as well in their
next outing. The Predators dropped a 4-0 decision to visiting Edmonton on
Monday and Rinne was pulled in the third period after giving up four goals on
"We didn't take this team for granted. We knew they were a fast, young hockey
team coming off quite a few losses," Predators forward Steve Sullivan said of
the Oilers. "We were ready for them. (But) we didn't score early and we just
let them hang around."
Rinne is expected to get the start tonight despite allowing four goals for the
first time since Dec. 28 in Monday's outing. He is 6-2-2 with a 2.17 goals-
against average in 10 career games against the Red Wings.
Nashville will try to halt a three-game road losing streak tonight. The
Predators are 16-14-1 as the visiting club this season.
Detroit's loss to Nashville on Saturday marked the second straight shutout
defeat suffered by the Red Wings, but Mike Babcock's troops got back on track
Monday against the visiting New York Rangers. Jimmy Howard stopped a season-
high 45 shots as Detroit edged the Rangers, 3-2, at Joe Louis Arena.
"The main thing is you just have to stay on the right path and remain focused
and things will turn around for us," said Howard.
Howard improved to 26-9-3 on the year, winning for the third time in his last
four starts, and tied Carey Price of Montreal and Roberto Luongo of Vancouver
for most victories by a goaltender in the NHL.
Pavel Datsyuk returned to action for the first time since December 22 after
his recovery from a broken right wrist, picking up a goal and one assist for
the Red Wings.
Jiri Hudler and Drew Miller also tallied for Detroit, which improved to 16-7-4
on home ice.
Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom has sat out the last nine games with a
broken hand, but he could make his return tonight. Meanwhile, fellow Detroit
forward Valtteri Filppula is expected to miss tonight's game and possibly a
week of action after suffering a sprained MCL on Monday.
02/09 10:56:55 ET