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Game Preview/Live Thread: Nashville Predators v Detroit Red Wings 3/23/24

Dec 29, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) handles the puck during the first of the game between the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators host the Detroit Red Wings this evening.

It’s been an up-and-down season in Detroit, with long streaks of mostly wins intermingled with long streaks of mostly losses. They’re on the upswing out of a losing streak right now, going 3-1 in their last four games after a season-long seven consecutive losses to start the month, and are currently part of the shuffle for the second wildcard spot in the Atlantic.

Detroit’s most salient strength has been a combination of shooting talent and shooting luck. While their offense itself is profoundly uninspired–they don’t take a lot of shots, and they don’t get to the front of the net pretty much at all, especially at even strength–their skaters have been scoring from all over the ice nevertheless, elevating a pretty average power play to well above that and managing to come in seventh in the league in 5v5 goals scored despite having the third-worst 5v5 expected goals total.

21-year-old Lucas Raymond leads the team with 60 points, and trails one behind Shayne Gostisbehere with 36 assists. Alex DeBrincat has also been an assist machine, contributing 34 himself and clocking in at a team-second 57 points. Dylan Larkin is the team goals leader with 28, and comes third in points with 56; he is expected to play today, despite a recent illness.

Regrettably, it’s impossible to mention the Red Wings’ offense this year without also mentioning their midseason signing Patrick Kane. He’s been one of their most skilled skaters and has averaged a point per game since his arrival–a feat otherwise only matched by Larkin. Shutting him down needs to be a priority for the Preds defenders, as it seems neither surgery nor age has slowed him down yet.

The Red Wings’ defense has been fairly mediocre at even strength, and awful on the penalty kill, but their goalies have been their best penalty killers. Alex Lyon, Ville Husso, and James Reimer have shared the net, with Husso’s performance the weakest with a .892 sv% and Reimer’s the strongest with a .907.

The game airs at 4PM Central on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game. We’re likely not to be able to have a recap for you tonight, but will be back with more Preds coverage after the weekend.

Talking Points