Red Wings-Predators Preview
GAME: Detroit Red Wings (29-15-8-2) at Nashville Predators (26-18-6-2).
TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST.
After a disastrous end to 2002-03, the Nashville Predators' chances of
making the playoffs this season were considered slim.
Another win over the Detroit Red Wings, however, could move the Predators
closer to the top of the Central Division.
The Predators look to extend their home unbeaten streak to 12 games and try
to cut their deficit in the division when they meet the first-place Red Wings
for the fifth time this season.
After joining the NHL for the 1998-99 season, Nashville finished no higher
than 10th in the Western Conference in its first five seasons.
The Predators had high hopes of qualifying for the playoffs for the first
time in team history last season, but they ended with a 15-game winless streak
to finish 13th in the West.
This season has been a different story for Nashville.
The Predators have their best record ever at this point in a season, and are
just eight points behind the Red Wings for first place in the Central.
Nashville, one of the best home teams in the NHL, is 9-0-2 in its last 11
games at Gaylord Entertainment Center after beating the Pacific
Division-leading San Jose Sharks 3-2 in overtime on Saturday.
"Every game we play, it's kind of a joke," Nashville leading scorer Scott
Walker said. "We come in here and say, `This is the biggest game of the year.'
Then we come back the next game and say, `This is the biggest game of the
"They're all huge for us because we are playing so many teams in our
One of those teams is the Red Wings, who Nashville has beaten three of four
times this season after winning just six of the first 27 meetings in the
Detroit comes in on a three-game unbeaten streak, but the Red Wings now know
they can't look past the Predators.
"They always play us tough," Detroit defenseman Jason Woolley said. "They
play it simple. To keep losing to the same team is frustrating."
Down 4-1 after two periods Saturday, Detroit scored three times in the third
to earn a 4-4 tie with the Carolina Hurricanes and improve to 1-0-2 in its last
Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and an assist and Tomas Holmstrom also
scored twice for the Red Wings.
"Two bad periods, but the third was good," Holmstrom said. "We started to
get the puck down low and more people going to the net."