The Nashville Predators were in action on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena against the Dallas Stars. This inter-division match-up was a battle of two teams looking for positive traction in the Central Division. Early on, the Predators and Stars were not able to make any leeway against either side. The Stars came out very positive and dominated the first period quadrupling Nashville’s shot total, but Pekka Rinne was on top of his game.
The first goal of the game didn’t arrive until the second period as Adam Cracknell scored his second goal of the season at 2:55. The Predators were able to respond with yet another power-play goal at 4:27 of the second period by Captain Mike Fisher to tie the game 1-1.
Dallas scored the only goal of the final period as Jason Spezza tallied his first goal of the season. The game was riding on the third period, and Nashville was unable to score. The final score was 2-1.
Keys to Watch
Strength vs Strength
When analyzing the match-up between the Detroit Red Wings and the Nashville Predators, lots of memories come to mind when both were in the same conference. Whether it was game five of the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals, the hatred between the players, or the physical style of play that both teams exerted, this has always been a classic contest. Tonight, both teams come into the contest with two of the top power-plays in the NHL. The Predators have the best power-play unit in the NHL, converting on 45.5% of their chances for a total of five power-play goals. On the opposite side, Detroit is ranked fourth with a man-advantage, scoring on 33.3% of their chance for a total of four power-play goals. It will be a tall task for both penalty kill units to stop these high powered offenses.
Low Shot Volume
This version of the Detroit Red Wings is not your typical Detroit team based on their amount of shots. For example, this season the Red Wings are last in the NHL in shots per game with 24.3 shots per contest. Last season, the Red Wings averaged 29.7 shots per game and 29.6 shots per contest in 2014-15. In contrast, the Predators are averaging 30.3 shots per game this season, which is somewhat down from their usual clip of shots. The Red Wings have not won a game this season when the opposing team out-shoots them. If Nashville can drive up the shots tonight, their chances of winning are increased.
Another interesting point of emphasis in tonight’s match-up is blocked shots between both squads. The Red Wings are ranked 13th in the NHL this season with 63 blocked shots. Nashville has 48 blocked shots, which places them in 23rd among NHL teams. This is a complete flip from last year’s numbers where Nashville was ranked 10th and Detroit was 30th in the league for blocked shots. Granted, it’s early in the season, but blocked shots can be a telling statistic about the toughness of your team. Expect the Predators to block more shots and help out Pekka Rinne in net tonight.
This former inter-division rivalry will be renewed tonight in the Motor City. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 6:30 tonight!