NHL This Weekend - Red Wings vs Preds
Even though both teams are struggling the Detroit Red Wings are at home, which is why NHL odds makers have them as the favorites in this Central Division match up against the Nashville Predators.
Nashville Predators (29-20-3 61 points) at Detroit Red Wings (25-19-9 59 points)
Bovada has Nashville as the favorites posted at -150 with Detroit posted at +130 with a total of 5.5 goals.
Tonight in Motor City USA the Detroit Red Wings host the Nashville Predators. Neither team is playing well, which is an understatement, as the Predators have lost four in a row and are only 4-6 in their last 10 games and the Red Wings have lost three in a row and are 3-4-3 in their last 10. Nashville is in second place in the Central Division with a slim two point lead over Detroit in the division.
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This season Detroit is 14-8-4 at home and Nashville is 15-10-2 on the road.
In their last games the Predators lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Tuesday night and the Red Wings lost to the Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Wednesday night.
These teams have split the two games they have played this season.
Either Jimmy Howard (18 wins 2.30 GAA save percentage 92.4%) or Chris Osgood (7 wins 2.94 GAA save percentage 89.1%) will get the start in goal for Detroit. Howard may be the good call for Detroit, as Osgood is 1-6 in his last 7 starts.
The Red Wings defense, which has surrendered 2.60 goals per game this season, has to play well tonight, as Nashville has a decent offense ranking 14th in the league in scoring 2.71 goals per game.
In their four game losing streak the Predators have out-shot their opponent in every game by an average of 13.7 shots per game, but they simply are not finding the back of the net. Nashville is only 1 for 17 in their last six games on the power play.
The Red Wings have had far from a home ice advantage lately, as they are 0-1-2 in their last 3 games in Detroit and have also lost two straight there against the Predators.
Nashville G Pekka Rinne (18 wins 2.81 GAA save percentage 90.3%) will probably get the start tonight and in his career against Detroit he has gone 4-1-1 with a 2.31 GAA. Rinne has not been playing well between the pipes recently, but luckily for him the Red Wings offense has really struggled all season, as they only rank 27th in the league in scoring (2.51 goals per game).
Saturday NHL Puck lines
New York Rangers at Phoenix Coyotes
The Rangers need to stop the bleeding, as they have lost four in a row and are currently are in a log-jam for the 8th position in the East tied with Philadelphia, Florida, and Montreal with 55 points. The Coyotes are in fourth place in the Western Conference and have won two games in a row.
Minnesota Wild at San Jose Sharks
The Wild have been playing solid hockey, as they have won three in a row and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. They will be facing a San Jose team that has the most points in the league, as of Friday, and has the second highest scoring team this season (3.28 goals per game).
Sunday Big Games
L.A. Kings at New Jersey Devils
Even though New Jersey is atop the Atlantic Division they have lost two games in a row and are only 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. The Devils have to deal with a Kings’ squad that is on fire winning their last four games.
Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins
As of Friday the Red Wings have lost three games in a row and they have really struggled lately on both sides of the ice. The Penguins are 6-4 in their last 10 games and only trail the struggling New Jersey Devils by three points in the tough Atlantic Division.