Game 3: Predators @ Red Wings Preview

The series between the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings take a turn for Game 3 in Detroit at the Joe Louis Arena. With the series tied at one a piece, it is imperative for the Predators to win this game and not fall behind. Home ice is now to Detroit, where they are best at. Sunday afternoon, the winner could be the first to three goals. Puck drops at 11:10 AM CT.

TV/Radio Coverage

Coverage in Nashville: 102.5 The Game

Coverage in Detroit: 97.1 The Ticket

Coverage in USA: NBC

Coverage in Canada: CBC and RDS

Playoff Series

Game Date Away Home Result
Game 1 4/11 DET NSH 2-3 NSH
Game 2 4/13 DET NSH 3-2 DET

Line Up News

Starting Goalies:

Name W L OT SV % GAA
#35 Pekka Rinne 1 1 0 .907 2.52
#35 Jimmy Howard 1 1 0 .904 2.52

Projected Predators Scratches: #75 D Hal Gill (Foot), #23 W Brian McGrattan, #37 G Chet Pickard, #22 W Jordin Tootoo, #33 C Colin Wilson, #15 C Craig Smith and #38 D Jack Hillen

Projected Red Wings Scratches: #43 C Darren Helm (Forearm Laceration), #31 G Joey MacDonald (Back), #4 D Jakub Kindl, #15 C Riley Sheahan, #39 W Jan Mursak and #41 W Chris Conner

Injury Report

Predators: #75 D Hal Gill (Foot) Day-to-Day

Detroit: #43 C Darren Helm (Forearm Laceration) Out and #31 G Joey MacDonald (Back) Out

Projected Line Up

                                                                                        Predators

LW C RW
#74 Sergei Kostitsyn #12 Mike Fisher #10 Martin Erat
#46 Andrei Kostitsyn #11 David Legwand #47 Alexander Radulov
#57 Gabriel Bourque #13 Nick Spaling #27 Patric Hornqvist
#18 Brandon Yip #28 Paul Gaustad #24 Matt Halischuk
D D
#20 Ryan Suter #6 Shea Weber
#59 Roman Josi #8 Kevin Klein
#49 D Ryan Ellis #51 Francis Bouillon
G
#35 Pekka Rinne
#39 Anders Lindback

Red Wings

LW C RW
#93 Johan Franzen #13 Pavel Datsyuk #44 Todd Bertuzzi
#51 Valtteri Filppula #40 Henrik Zetterberg #26 Jiri Hudler
#11 Dan Cleary #8 Justin Abdelkader #14 Gustav Nyquist
#20 Drew Miller #48 Cory Emmerton #96 Tomas Holmstrom
D D
#5 Nicklas Lidstrom #52 Jonathon Ericsson
#55 Nicklas Kronwall #23 Brad Stuart
#27 Kyle Quincey #18 Ian White
G
#35 Jimmy Howard
#29 Ty Conklin 

Game 3: Red Wings Players to Watch

Name G A +/-
#96 Tomas Holmstrom 1 1 0
#40 Henrik Zetterberg 1 0 -1
#13 Pavel Datsyuk 0 1 -1

Thoughts on Both Teams

Detroit: The Detroit Red Wings go to Joe Louis Arena with the series tied, 1-1. Detroit is very confident at home and won 23 straight home games, earlier in the season. In the regular season, the Red Wings’ record at home was 31-7-3. 

The Red Wings’ penalty kill has just been spectacular in the first two series. Even without leading penalty killer, Darren Helm, the PK has been good. Through two games, Detroit has killed 12-of-12 power plays for the Predators.

The scoring of the Detroit Red Wings haven’t exactly been the stars of the team. The goal scorer for Detroit is Tomas Holmstrom, Cory Emmerton, Ian White and Johan Franzen. Henrik Zetterberg is the only “star” of the team that has scored. The depth of Detroit is really helping with Hal Gill out of the line-up to settle the 2nd and/or 3rd line down.

Nashville: The Nashville Predators haven’t beat the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, during their three playoff meetings. Barry Trotz wants to get the win so they won’t have to worry about it. In the regular season, Nashville’s record at “The Joe” was 1-2-0. 

The power play has been struggling big time, as the Predators are 0-for-12 through two games, so far. Patric Hornqvist blames the non-scoring on the power play being “puck luck.” I disagree. When the Predators have a 30 second 5-on-3, they have to shoot often. I say shoot every single time you can instead of setting up for the perfect play.

Expect Trotz to put in Ryan Ellis because of the many unsuccessful power plays. Kevin Klein or Francis Bouillon is not the guy you want at the point during the power play. Given that Sergei Kostitsyn has been at the point with Roman Josi, I think it is better for Ellis to be at the point.

Hal Gill is doubtful to play Sunday with a foot injury and will miss his fourth straight game. Although, that hasn’t hurt the Predators in shutting down the top two lines. Kevin Klein and Roman Josi have been very effective in shutting down the line of Hudler-Zetterberg-Filppula. 


Playoff Quick Hits from the Nashville Predators

PLAYOFF QUICK HITS
• This is the third Western Conference Quarterfinals series between Nashville and Detroit. The Red Wings have won both of the previous series – 4-2 in 2004 and 4-2 in 2008. Nashville has played more playoff games (14) against Detroit than any other teams in their seven trips to the postseason. 
• Eleven of the 14 postseason games between the Predators and Red Wings have been decided by two goals or fewer.
• Nashville is returning 14 players from last season’s playoff team – Erat, Fisher, Halischuk, Hornqvist, Klein,Sergei Kostitsyn, Legwand, Lindback, Rinne, Spaling, Suter, Tootoo, Weber and Wilson. Francis Bouillon was injured and did not play during the 2011 playoffs.
• Martin Erat ranks second to only David Legwand on the franchise’s all-time playoff points (19), goals (7), assists (12) and games played (38) lists. 
• Hal Gill – who missed Games One and Two – ranks sixth among active defensemen in postseason games played. He has skated in 105 career playoff games, making him the most experienced Predator in the postseason. Sixty-nine of those games have come in the past four seasons.
• Legwand is the Predators’ franchise leader in every postseason offensive category; he has posted 23 points (10g-13a) in 39 postseason games with Nashville. 
• Ryan Suter (31gp) and Shea Weber (31gp) have each taken the ice in every Predators’ playoff game over their last four trips to the postseason – they are the only players to do so.
• Three players remain on Nashville’s roster from the 2004 WCQ series vs. Detroit – Erat, Legwand and Tootoo. Eight players who played against Detroit in the 2008 WCQ remain – Erat, Legwand, Radulov, Suter, Tootoo and Weber.

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