On Friday night, the Nashville Predators saw their former bench coach, Barry Trotz, come into Bridgestone Arena, trying to steal one from the home team. After all was said and done, the Preds foiled Trotz’s first trip back to Nashville and the NHL leading Preds won 4-3.
Alex Ovechkin was as advertised as he scored two goals in the 2nd period beating Carter Hutton with two amazing shots. The Preds also got two goals from James Neal. Neal’s 2nd was the game winner with 1:40 remaining in the 3rd period. The Preds received contributions from Seth Jones (1st-16:16) and the game-tying goal from Mattias Ekholm (3rd-15:31).
Tonight, the Preds renew one of their most heated rivalries as they travel to Joe Louis Arena to take on their nemesis, the Detroit Red Wings.
The Red Wings (24-11-9) last took on the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. The Blues were able to cut a 2-0 lead to 2-2, and so the matchup went to OT. In the OT, in only a way that can explain it, Pavel Datsyuk scored with 3 seconds remaining and won 3-2.
The Red Wings are being led in points by LW Henrik Zetterberg with 36. Pavel Datsyuk is close behind with 32 points. In goals, Tomas Tatar leads the team with 18 goals. In the standings, Detroit is currently third behind Tampa Bay and Montreal with 57 points.
Keys to Watch
Former Central Division Foes
Before realignment, Detroit and Nashville was one of the most heated rivalries within the NHL. Since the Preds entered the league, Detroit was one of those teams to have a natural rivalry with Nashville. Within this rivalry, Nashville is 34-41-(4)-8 against Detroit all-time. There is no love lost between these two teams and these two fan bases. With this rivalry renewed in Detroit, look for very fast, physical play.
Weber’s Domination Against Detroit
Nashville captain Shea Weber has made a career of playing well against Detroit. Weber has 23 points against Detroit in his career with seven of those points coming in the last 10 regular-season games (5 goals, 2 assists). Weber usually brings his physical style of play when Nashville faces off against Detroit. Nashville’s captain should have a big night tonight as the Preds try to continue their five-game winning streak.
Everything’s Going to Be Alright!!!!
With the mass hysteria amongst some media outlets or “professionals” in the hockey world this morning, the Nashville Predators will be able to sustain their continuing progress as the #1 team in the NHL. Last night, Carter Hutton showed that he is capable of leading the Preds in goal while All-World goalie, Pekka Rinne, is out due to a strained knee for the next 3 to 5 weeks. My advice for everyone is to calm down! Everything’s going to be alright! The Predators showed last night that they can win with Carter Hutton in goal. Hutton must be serviceable in net. He does not have to be Pekka Rinne.
Detroit has always been a typical tough test for Nashville. The Preds cannot come out playing flat because Detroit will take advantage of this lack of effort. This matchup will have an earlier start in Detroit as the puck will drop tonight at 6:00 pm CST. The game will be televised on FS-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.