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Game Day: Red Wings vs. Preds

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(17-10-7) Detroit Red Wings vs. Nashville Predators (17-11-6)
  7 P.M. | Bridgestone Arena | #DETvsNSH
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 6:30 P.M.
Tickets | Golden Saturday

The Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings get together tonight on a Golden Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in the 91st all-time meeting between the two clubs and the second of two this season.

It's the first game for both teams after the NHL's Christmas break, with Nashville having beaten Montreal 5-1 on Dec. 21 before the holiday. Detroit fell 4-3 to New Jersey on Tuesday.

The Wings topped the Preds 5-4 in overtime in the first game between the former Central Division foes. Predators Captain Shea Weber recorded a hat trick in the losing effort, the first hat trick by a defenseman in franchise history.

Weber tallied a goal on Monday against the Canadiens to extend his point streak to three games, posting six points during that span (1g-5a). The Captain leads all defensemen and is second among all players in points during the month of December with 15 (4g-11a).

Weber's defense partner Roman Josi, who leads the Preds in points, recorded a goal and an assist to move his point total to 12 (5g-7a) during December, second to only Weber among League blueliners.

Josi has nine goals and 26 points on the season, followed by Weber with 10 goals and 25 points overall. James Neal's 13 goals are tops on the Preds in the category, and his 22 points ties him with fellow forward Filip Forsberg for third on the club. Josi, Weber, Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro have all hit or exceeded the 15-assist mark, while Forsberg and Craig Smith each have seven goals. Goaltender Pekka Rinne is 14-9-6 on the year with a 2.34 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.

Josi is on a four-game point streak versus the Red Wings (1g-5a), while Ribeiro has a point in three of his last five games against Detroit (2g-2a). Weber has a point in five of his last six outings when facing the Wings (5g-2a).

Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg leads the club in points with 27, 21 of which are assists. Dylan Larkin's 13 goals lead the team and his 24 points rank second among his teammates. Gustav Nyquist has potted 12 goals on the season; Tomas Tatar and Justin Abdelkader have 11 goals each. Goaltender Petr Mrazek has 10 wins in 18 starts for the Wings, while Jimmy Howard has seven victories.

The Preds have points in three of their last five games against Detroit (2-2-1) and three of their last five at home (3-2-0). All-time, Nashville has a 34-43-13 record against Detroit.

Predators Game Day Video:

Preds Players: Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne and Craig Smith

What to Watch for: Preds Web Team Breakdown

Coach Presser: Head Coach Peter Laviolette

Projected Lineups:

Forward Mike Fisher (IR; lower-body) participated in the Preds morning skate on Saturday, but not line rushes. He is not expected to play tonight. D-man Petter Granberg was on the ice this morning for his first skate with the Predators, but he is expected to be a healthy scratch:

Nashville Predators:

Filip Forsberg Mike Ribeiro Craig Smith
Colin Wilson Calle Jarnkrok James Neal
Cody Hodgson Colton Sissons Viktor Arvidsson
Eric Nystrom Paul Gaustad Miikka Salomaki
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Barret Jackman Seth Jones
Mattias Ekholm Ryan Ellis


Goaltenders: Pekka Rinne is the projected starter in net with Carter Hutton serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Anthony Bitetto, (F) Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body), Mike Fisher (IR; lower-body), (F) Austin Watson, (D) Petter Granberg

Forward Dylan Larkin will not play tonight due to an upper-body injury. 

Detroit Red Wings:

Gustav Nyquist Henrik Zetterberg Justin Abdelkader
Brad Richards Pavel Datsyuk Darren Helm
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Tomas Jurco
Joakim Andersson Luke Glendening Tomas Nosek
Niklas Kronwall Mike Green
Danny DeKeyser Brendan Smith
Jakub Kindl Alexey Marchenko


Goaltenders: Petr Mrazek is the announced starter with Jimmy Howard serving as the backup.

Extra: (D) Jonathan Ericsson, (F) Dylan Larkin, (F) Kyle Quincey, (F) Teemu Pulkkinen, (F) Johan Franzen

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