NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 19th
(All times eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (43-20-8) at Nashville Predators (36-25-10), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The first-place Detroit Red Wings will aim for a fifth
consecutive victory when they visit the rival Nashville Predators for
tonight's Central Division clash at Bridgestone Arena.
The Red Wings, who lead the Central by 10 points over Chicago, opened March
with four straight losses, but have since rattled off four consecutive
victories. It marks the longest win streak for Detroit since the club ripped
off five in a row from Feb. 11-20.
While second-seeded Detroit is in good shape in the West with 94 points, the
Predators are fighting for their playoffs lives.
With 82 points, Nashville is seeded ninth in the conference and is just one
point in back of Calgary for the West's eighth and final postseason berth. The
Preds, who have two games in hand over Calgary, have a chance to pull in front
of the idle Flames tonight.
Nashville has taken three of four from the Red Wings in this year's season
series and has won each of the last three encounters. The Predators have taken
eight of 13 overall in the series and Detroit has lost three of its last five
tests in Music City.
The Predators have won three of their last four games and are coming off
Thursday's overtime triumph over the visiting Boston Bruins. The win improved
Nashville, which is capping a five-game homestand tonight, to 18-8-7 as the
host this year.
Shea Weber's power-play tally with 1:23 left in OT gave the Predators the 4-3
decision over the Bruins.
David Legwand, Colin Wilson and Sergei Kostitsyn each posted a goal and an
assist for the Predators. Pekka Rinne got the win after a 35-save performance
Preds forward Joel Ward is questionable for today's game with a lower body
injury. Ward has sat out the last two games for Nashville, but was on a five-
game point streak before the injury.
Detroit picked up its fourth straight win Thursday in Columbus. Joey MacDonald
stopped 37 shots to record his first shutout of the season in the 2-0 victory
at Nationwide Arena.
Drew Miller and Valtteri Filppula each had a goal for the Red Wings, who have
won two straight on the road after dropping their previous three away games.
Detroit has an excellent 24-9-4 record as the visiting team this season.
On the injury front, Detroit forwards Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) and Jiri
Hudler (illness) are questionable for tonight. Defenseman Brian Rafalski is
expected to play tonight after injuring his right knee in the win over
Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood (groin) and defenseman Ruslan Salei
(personal) are doubtful for today's game.
03/19 10:59:33 ET