Skip to main content

Red Wings-Predators Preview @NHLdotcom

While the Nashville Predators are waiting for Peter Forsberg to score his first point with them, Henrik Zetterberg has lifted the Detroit Red Wings into the Western Conference lead.

Zetterberg and the surging Red Wings try to increase that lead when they meet Forsberg and the Predators on Saturday night in the first of five remaining regular-season matchups between the division rivals.

The Red Wings - winners of five straight Central Division titles - have won two of three meetings with the Predators in 2006-07, both at home. Nashville took the lone meeting at Gaylord Entertainment Center.

With 85 points, Detroit (39-16-7) begins play with a one-point division lead over Nashville (40-18-4), but is coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to Edmonton that ended its 13-game home winning streak.

"That streak's over with. We don't have to worry about that," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We can just go out and play."

Zetterberg scored a goal in his fourth straight game and extended his point streak to six contests.

In 13 games since last month's All-Star break, Zetterberg leads the league with 14 goals and 27 points. Detroit has gone 9-2-2 in that span to move past Nashville in the Central and take over the conference lead - the Predators had 71 points at the break, six more than the Red Wings.

Detroit, which needs two points to tie Buffalo for the league lead, is looking for its third straight road win.

Nashville, meanwhile, is still waiting for Forsberg to show up on the scoresheet.

In three games since being acquired in a Feb. 15 blockbuster deal with Philadelphia, the two-time Stanley Cup winner has averaged just over 19 minutes of ice time per game and has totaled nine shots on goal, but has yet to tally a point.

"With Detroit coming this Saturday, we can't feel bad about this one; we have to look forward to the next one now," Forsberg said after a 6-5 shootout loss to Montreal on Thursday night.

Forsberg had a goal and assist on Feb. 12 in a 6-1 win over Detroit on Feb. 12 - his last game in a Philadelphia uniform. He has 27 points in 28 career games against the Red Wings, and three of his nine career goals versus them are game-winners.

Against the Canadiens, Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun gave up the tying goal to Sergei Samsonov in the final minute of regulation before being beaten by Tomas Plekanec and Saku Koivu in the shootout.

"We led the whole game. We should have two (points), no question about it." Vokoun said after Nashville lost for the third time in four games.

Vokoun has recorded 11 of his 19 wins this season at home, but has given up a total of 13 goals while losing four straight regular-season home games to Detroit.

Should backup Chris Mason get the start, he would be looking for his season-high fourth straight win at home, where he's posted all five of his shutouts this season and is 2-0-0 with a 2.50 goals-against average in two career regular-season starts against Detroit.

Nashville, which beat Detroit in the 2005-06 regular-season finale, is looking to win three straight home games versus the Red Wings for the first time in franchise history.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.