Preview: Nashville at Detroit
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 5, 2015
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
After enjoying a rare chance to breathe easy in their last outing, the Detroit Red Wings look to extend their point streak to 10 games on Saturday when they conclude a six-game homestand versus the Nashville Predators. The Red Wings recorded eight consecutive one-goal decisions before breezing to a 5-1 win over Arizona on Thursday.
The victory did not come without a cost, however, as Teemu Pulkkinen is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with a dislocated shoulder and fellow forward Drew Miller will be sidelined six weeks with a broken jaw. Coach Jeff Blashill promptly switched his lines during Friday’s practice, putting captain Henrik Zetterberg with fellow veteran Pavel Datsyuk among other makeshift combinations. While Detroit is 6-0-3 in its last nine contests, Nashville suffered a 2-1 setback to Florida on Thursday to fall to 2-5-1 in its last eight. Defenseman Roman Josi scored the lone goal for the Predators, who have mustered just 12 tallies in that span.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE PREDATORS (13-8-4): Pekka Rinne arguably made the save of the season by denying Jaromir Jagr on the doorstep, prompting the 43-year-old future Hall of Famer to jokingly tweet that he’s “old and no good.” Rinne seriously is good and is expected to draw the start on Saturday, but the 33-year-old Finn has struggled away from Bridgestone Arena with a 3-4-2 mark. Colin Wilson has notched an assist in back-to-back contests after mustering just one point in his previous seven tilts.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (14-8-4): While Blashill was tinkering with several lines on Friday, he made a point of keeping Tomas Tatar with Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist. “They’ve been arguably our best line night in, night out in the past five, six, seven games,” Blashill told MLive. “I don’t see any reason to disrupt that line. Sometimes when you disrupt things like that, you hurt the whole group.” Tatar has scored six goals and set up four others in his last 11 contests and had three tallies and an assist in two meetings last season with Nashville.
1. Detroit’s Joakim Andersson and Tomas Jurco are expected to draw back into the lineup in place of Pulkkinen and Miller, whose 190-game streak will come to an end on Saturday.
2. Nashville is 2-for-22 on the power play over the last eight contests.
3. Red Wings G Petr Mrazek, who has been confirmed to start on Saturday, made 34 saves to win his lone career outing versus the Predators.
PREDICTION: Predators 2, Red Wings 1