Predators vs Red Wings preview: The Battle Is Joined

The Nashville Predators face their greatest rival for the first time this season tonight at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit (6:00 p.m. Central on FS-TN). The Red Wings are coming off a shootout victory over Boston in yesterday's marquis matchup, so perhaps the Preds can catch Detroit at the right time, lacking some energy after having played the day before (remember how well that worked against Edmonton?).

Follow after the jump for the breakdown...

Tale Of The Tape

Nashville (10-7-4) at Detroit (13-7-1)
NSH Offense vs. DET Defense DET Offense vs. NSH Defense
5-on-5
GF/60 SF/60 Shoot % GA/60 SA/60 Save %
 NSH Offense 2.4 (14th) 26.0 (26th) 9.3 (5th) 2.3 (10th) 32.3 (29th) 929 (8th)  NSH Defense 
 DET Defense  1.8 (4th) 26.5 (2nd) 933 (5th) 2.6 (6th) 35.0 (1st) 7.5 (23rd)  DET Offense
GA/60 SA/60 Save % GF/60 SF/60 Shoot %
Special Teams
NSH PP vs. DET PK DET PP vs. NSH PK
GF/60 SF/60 Shoot % GA/60 SA/60 Save %
 NSH 5-on-4 5.4 (19th) 47.2 (18th)  11.5 (17th)   5.6 (13th)   56.1 (26th)   900 (11th)   NSH 4-on-5
 DET 4-on-5  7.6 (23rd)   49.8 (13th)  847 (24th) 6.1 (15th) 54.5 (7th) 11.3 (18th)  DET 5-on-4
GA/60 SA/60 Save % GF/60 SF/60 Shoot %

The story with Detroit, as always, is their dominating level of puck possession at even strength; 2nd in Shots For and 1st in Shots Against in 5-on-5 play is a pretty solid formula for success.

Detroit Red Wings

With 7 wins in their last 9 games, the Red Wings have turned around an 0-5-1 stretch to climb up to 4th place in the West, just 2 points behind Chicago with two games in hand.

Perhaps the biggest surprise about this team is who's leading Detroit in scoring:


Johan Franzen

#93 / Center / Detroit Red Wings

6-3

222

Dec 23, 1979



GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
SOG PCT
2011 - Johan Franzen 20 10 11 21 10 16 5 0 4 51 19.6

Henrik Zetterberg has gotten off to a particularly slow start, but he does have a goal and 3 assists in his last four games, so he certainly can't be discounted.

The Red Wings are represented within SB Nation over at...

Winging_it_in_motown_logo_medium

Alternative logo via the incomparable Earl Sleek

Nashville Predators

The big story to watch tonight is how Roman Josi fares in his NHL debut. Sure, he'll likely get rolling with limited action on the 3rd pair (alongside Jonathon Blum, perhaps?), but if the Preds can get break-even (or better) play out of that group, it can provide a bit of cover for the rest of the bunch. Last season, Nashville went 4-1-1 against the Red Wings, and have won the last two times they visited Joe Louis Arena.

Up front, the hot hand for the moment belongs to Jordin Tootoo, who has now scored in Too (err... two) straight games. While it would be nice to see Toots maintain the momentum, what's more important to Nashville is getting a standout effort from the main between the pipes (and here's to hoping he stays there):


Pekka Rinne

#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators

6-5

209

Nov 03, 1982



GP MIN W L OTL GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2011 - Pekka Rinne 20 1132 10 6 4 45 2.39 615 570 .927 3

Make sure to stay tuned for tonight's recap, which will be provided by a special guest star...

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