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Preview: Red Wings vs. Predators

Frans Nielsen out for Detroit; Nashville hoping defenseman Roman Josi will return

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

RED WINGS (21-21-9) at PREDATORS (25-18-8)

8 p.m. ET; FS-D, FS-TN, NHL.TV

 

Red Wings team scope

The Detroit Red Wings will be without center Frans Nielsen against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Nielsen sustained an upper-body injury in a 5-4 win against the New York Islanders on Friday and is day to day. Nielsen's absence means that Tomas Jurco will be in the lineup. Jurco has played 13 games this season and has not had a point. "He's frustrated for sure; he wants to be a full-time player and he believes he's good enough to be a full-time player," coach Jeff Blashill said. "I think, with lots of opportunity, he can be a full-time player. The thing that we have here is we have lots of good players and he's got to find a way to separate himself from the other guys." Defenseman Brendan Smith was activated from injured reserve and will play against the Predators. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall is out with a lower-body injury and is day to day. The Red Wings are 1-3-4 in their past eight road games.

 
Predators team scope

Nashville activated fefenseman Roman Josi from injured reserve Saturday, and he could return to the lineup after missing nine games with a concussion. Josi practiced Friday on a pairing with Yannick Weber and participated in the morning skate Saturday. "I'm feeling good," Josi said. "I'm getting better and better. No timetable yet, but I'm feeling good." The Predators have not lost in regulation at home since a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 29 and are 8-2-1 in their past 11 games. The Predators believed they have found the consistent play they've been searching for all season. "I think we're just aware," defenseman P.K. Subban said. "We're aware of the time. We're aware of how important these games are, and I think it's important for us to come together as a team and find a way to win these games. I think we have to be together to do that. We've gelled pretty quickly as a team. We've battled through a lot of adversity, too. I think that's a big part of it is we've had a lot of adversity. We've had guys injured, in and out of the lineup. I think that's helped us."

 
Red Wings projected lineup

Anthony Mantha -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Gustav Nyquist

Dylan Larkin -- Riley Sheahan -- Tomas Tatar

Thomas Vanek -- Darren Helm -- Andreas Athanasiou

Justin Abdelkader -- Luke Glendening -- Tomas Jurco

Jonathan Ericsson -- Xavier Ouellet

Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green

Brendan Smith -- Nick Jensen

Petr Mrazek

Jared Coreau

Scratched: Steve Ott, Ryan Sproul

Injured: Tyler Bertuzzi (ankle), Jimmy Howard (knee), Niklas Kronwall (lower body), Frans Nielsen (upper body)

 

Predators projected lineup

Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

Austin Watson -- Mike Fisher -- Craig Smith

Colin Wilson -- Calle Jarnkrok -- James Neal

Cody McLeod -- Colton Sissons -- Harry Zolnierczyk

Mattias Ekholm -- P.K. Subban

Roman Josi -- Yannick Weber

Matt Irwin -- Ryan Ellis

Pekka Rinne

Marek Mazanec

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto, Derek Grant, Brad Hunt , Mike Ribeiro

Injured: Miikka Salomaki (lower body)

 

Status report

The Red Wings assigned Howard to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on a conditioning stint Saturday. Howard has not played since sustaining a lower-body injury against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 20. The Red Wings placed defenseman Alexey Marchenko on waivers Friday and he was claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. … The Predators placed Ribeiro on waivers Friday; he cleared Saturday and was assigned to Milwauee of the American Hockey League. Nashville also assigned goaltender Juuse Saros to Milwaukee and recalled Mazanec.

Who's hot

Zetterberg has two goals and four assists in his past four games. … Johansen has two goals and six assists in his past six games and leads the Predators with 38 points.

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