The Nashville Predators head into the Joe looking to hand the Red Wings an unprecedented sixth straight loss as the team’s meet in Detroit.
The Predators continue to battle with life without Pekka Rinne as the Finnish national and starting netminder remains out of the Nashville lineup and in this one we will see Marek Mazanec get the call between the pipes. The Preds are coming off a victory but their up and down performance has them in the basement of the star studded Central division as they trail all six of their counterparts including Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis, Colorado, Dallas, and Winnipeg. Nashville has a sense of lost identity at the moment as they are usually a defense first type of team and build out from the crease but without a stable goaltending presence, especially with the abilities possessed by Rinne it has been tough for Nashville to find a groove. However, they catch a Red Wings team at a great time as they have lost five games in a row and will be playing some desperate hockey.
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While a five game losing skid doesn’t sound too pleasant in any context it actually isn’t as bad in this sense as all five of these losses have come via overtime or the shootout enabling the Wings to pick up points in each. Detroit is usually a tough out at home and with the shift to the Eastern Conference this season it was expected that things would be even easier for the Wings at the Joe but so far it hasn’t been what they thought. The Wings have plenty of time to bounce back however as we are still over a month away from the half-way point of the year and with Jimmy Howard catching some of the worst luck you can be sure things will turn around. The Predators always seem to play their former Central division rivals tough but this is just a terrible spot for them as I think we finally see the Wings snap out of their funk and take their frustrations out on the Preds. Hammer the Wings here who win very comfortably.