In what has begun to feel like the plot of the movie Groundhog’s Day, the Red Wings will once again take to the ice tro try and break a losing streak that has now reached six games overall and seven games at home.
Matchup: Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings
Venue: Joe Louis Arena; Detroit, MI
Time: 7:30 PM EST
Television: Detroit- FSD+; Nashville- FS-Tennessee
The Detroit Red Wings (9-5-7, 25 points, 4th place Atlantic Division)will return home to a building that has not been too friendly to them as of late to take on an old division rival when the Nashville Predators (9-9-2, 20 points, 7th place Central Division) visit Joe Louis Arena Tuesday night.
In repeating fashion, the Red Wings have lost six games in a row, with the past five of those games coming to an end in overtime or a shootout. The latest loss came in a shootout for the second straight game and followed the script of many games before it. In a back and forth battle between the Red Wings and the Islanders, neither team held an advantage for long once they got the lead.
As time wound down in the third period and the Red Wings trailing by a goal, it seemed they were destined for their first loss in regulation for the first time since a 4-2 loss to Winnipeg on November 4th, the first game in the current losing streak. Pavel Datsyuk made sure that would not happen however, as he was able to put a loose puck in the net with 43 seconds remaining after the Red Wings had pulled their goaltender. No goals in the overtime period led to the second straight shootout which saw the Islanders defeat the Red Wings in 1-0 to earn the 4-3 victory. The shootout loss dropped the Red Wings record in overtime/shootout games to 1-7 on the season. The only bright spot as of late for the Red Wings is that the powerplay has been solid the past few games. They were able to connect on another powerplay goal in the first period of the game against the Islanders.
The Predators come into tonight’s game off a huge 7-2 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks to break a four game losing streak. During that streak, the Predators were shutout twice and only managed to score one goal in each of the other two games. They were outscored 17-2 during that span. Tonight’s game will be the eighth road game out of the past nine games for Nashville who will then travel to Toronto for another road game before returning home for six out of seven games. The Predators have been unable to get solid goaltending and offense this season as they rank towards the bottom of the Western Conference in both categories. They are currently allowing 3.01 goals per game, good for 12th in the conference, and are only scoring 2.3 goals per game, good for 13th in the conference. The Predators are without their star goaltender which could give the Red Wings all they need to finally end their six game slide.
Jimmy Howard will get the start in net tonight after getting the night off Saturday night against the Islanders. Howard has not seen much rest this season which could be a possible explanation for the decline in his numbers this season. Perhaps a three day break to clear his head and refocus is what was needed for Howard to begin the upward trend.
The Predators are expected to use Carter Hutton in net tonight in place of the injured Rinne. Hutton has appeared in ten games this season for the Predators posting a 4-3-0 record with a 3.39 GAA and an .891 save percentage. This will be Hutton’s first career start against the Red Wings and only the 12th game of his NHL career.